By John Lauritsen

COON RAPIDS, Minn. — Police say a prank call is to blame for damage done to a Coon Rapids Burger King.

Just before 9:30 p.m. Friday, workers at that fast food restaurant on Northdale Boulevard received a call from someone claiming to be with the fire department.

That person told the manager they were detecting dangerous levels of gas and if they didn’t break the windows, the restaurant would explode.


(WARNING: Video contains strong language)

“It’s nothing I ever came across so I didn’t know what to do,” said employee Ethan Grewe.

Grewe was one of the workers frantically breaking windows. He said that a caller told his manager that it had to be done, otherwise the building would explode because of a gas leak.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“I guess I was a little scared. My other co-workers were doing it so I just followed along,” said Grewe.

The Northdale Burger King isn’t the first fast food restaurant to fall victim to this kind of hoax. Similar pranks have targeted restaurants across the country like Burger King, Wendy’s and Jack in the Box in Arizona, California and Oklahoma. Each of the pranks had similar results.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“Pulled in and the door was locked. So we’re going to sadly have to go through the drive-thru,” said customer Sue Schelonka.

Customers trying to get inside on Saturday were met by locked doors, but the drive-thru remains open until the windows are fixed. Christa Jones’ son works at Burger King but was not on duty Friday night. It leaves her with a lot of questions for the prank caller.

“It’s just a waste of time for everybody. They do this prank but it costs everybody money,” said Jones.

As police investigate, they are advising employees that if they get a call like this they should walk out of the building and call 911. Coon Rapids Police say they will never tell businesses to damage their own property, and they should assume any calls like this are pranks.

To give you an idea of how much the damage will cost, a similar prank at the Shawnee, Oklahoma Burger King cost that restaurant about $10,000.

Coon Rapids Police said if the caller is caught, they could face a number of different charges.

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