Prank calls damage businesses, Chandler police investigating

Prank calls damage businesses, Chandler police investigating

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CHANDLER, Ariz. - A prankster called two Chandler businesses and said there was an emergency. The result: damage to at least one of them.

It may seem funny to the prankster making the call, but nobody else is laughing, including Chandler Police.

False reporting is a crime; it's also criminal mischief, and there could be charges of property damage.

Police believe a young man made the calls, and they need your help to break the case.

The Hampton Inn is located just south of the Chandler Mall. Police say a young man phoned the front desk and said he was a pizza delivery guy.

He convinced the clerk to forward him to a third floor room.

"When this occurred he contacted a woman in the room and managed to convince her to pull a sprinkler in the room, it flooded the entire third floor of the hotel and the floors below it," said Detective Seth Tyler.

The caller then announced it was a prank.

The hotel is managed by a company in Wisconsin that issued a statement: "We are working with the Fire and Police Department to find out what happened and how we can prevent it in the future. We would like the situation resolved."

The next target was a McDonald's restaurant a few miles away. The caller told the restaurant to activate equipment above the fryers designed to put out fires. Then he said doing that released toxic fumes and the employee needed to smash out the windows with a fire extinguisher.

The restaurant management said that the interior of the restaurant was not damaged. A customer outside the store today said he doesn't think the prank is funny.

"That is horrible, that is so wrong, who would do that, how childish, and immature do you have to be to do that," said Joe Ruquet.

Police say there is a message for anyone working somewhere and getting a call like this. If someone asks you to perform an outlandish act, think for a moment before you do it, use your common sense.

For genuine emergencies, there's 9-1-1.
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