Burger King Employees Smash Restaurant’s Windows to Prevent Explosion

Prank call causes Burger King employees to vandalize restaurant by smashing windows.

Prank call causes Burger King employees to vandalize restaurant by smashing windows.

Employees of a Burger King fast food restaurant in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, smashed windows of the restaurant in an effort to keep the building from blowing up. About 20 windows were smashed out.

On Friday, April 8, 2016, the manager of the restaurant received a call from someone who claimed to be an official of the local fire department. The caller told the manager that the employees were in danger because gas levels in the building had reached explosive levels. For everyone’s safety, the caller said, the employees would have to reduce the pressure in the building to keep it from exploding. They could do so by breaking out the windows. According to Police Captain Tom Hawley, the caller was very convincing. “He seemed to have knowledge of fire suppression systems and acted like he was monitoring the building remotely.”  Hawley said the employees panicked. They believed the caller, ran out to their cars, got tire irons, and began breaking out the restaurant windows.

All the ground floor windows were smashed by the time police arrived. Only one employee was injured when smashing the windows and it was a minor cut. The employees very upset, especially the manager who had been on the telephone with the caller for some time. Authorities informed the employees that there was no gas leak or gas  build-up and no official from the fire department calling to warn them of an impending explosion.

There is no estimate for the cost of the damage. The restaurant is closed and the missing windows have been replaced with wooden boards. However, the drive-through remains open.

Prank calls similar to this have been made to Burger King restaurants in Oklahoma (estimated damage $10,000) and California (estimated damage $35,000). A Jack-in-the-Box restaurant and a Wendy’s restaurant in Arizona have also received such calls.

An investigation is underway to determine the identity of the Coon Rapids caller. Hawley said the caller could face felony charges for terrorist threats and criminal damage to property.

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