A report is coming out of Morro Bay — a coastal town near San Luis Obispo — of a bizarre phone call that allegedly convinced the employees of a local Burger King to destroy all of the windows in the restaurant. A person allegedly claiming to be a representative from the fire department called the fast food joint and told the employees of an emergency gas leak, either in the store or nearby, that necessitated the immediate breaking of all the store's windows for safety reasons. The employees, apparently convinced they were speaking to a real fire department employee, allegedly did as they were instructed.
The San Luis Obispo Tribune references a police report detailing the incident, and explains what happened this past Saturday.
"The caller said that the business’ windows needed to be broken for ventilation, and the store’s employees allegedly complied," notes the paper. "The Morro Bay public safety team, including both the police and fire departments, responded to the possible gas leak. Officials found extensive damage to the windows, but no gas leak, according to the news release."
We here at SFist love a good prank, but this incident seems much more like yelling "fire" in a crowded theater, and could have actually resulted in real injury to real people (and not just the obvious damage to property). On a darker note, it reminds us of the case in 2004 where a man pretending to be a police officer called a Kentucky McDonald's and pressured/scammed employees there into abusing an employee (this was eventually made into a movie).
What's more, with images of the deadly San Bruno gas leak explosion forever seared in all our minds, it is perhaps easy to forgive the less-than-skeptical reaction from what must have been panicked employees just trying to make sure everyone was safe.
Anyone with any information about the strange incident is encouraged to call investigators at 805-772-6225.