CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Phone Calls from Phony Cops Get Fast Food Workers to Strip

Someone pretending to be a cop calls an assistant manager of a fast food joint, describes another worker and says she is suspected of theft.  The assistant manager is asked to have the employee strip, sometimes worse.  This scam has happened dozens of times around the country, and many employees evidently often go along.

"On Nov. 30, 2000, the caller persuaded the manager at a McDonald's in Leitchfield, Ky., to remove her own clothes in front of a customer whom the caller said was suspected of sex offenses. The caller promised that undercover officers would burst in and arrest the customer the moment he attempted to molest her, said Detective Lt. Gary Troutman of the Leitchfield Police Department."

"On Jan. 26, 2003, according a police report in Davenport, Iowa, an assistant manager at an Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar conducted a degrading 90-minute search of a waitress at the behest of a caller who said he was a regional manager -- even though the man had called collect, and despite the fact the assistant manager had read a company memo warning about hoax calls just a month earlier. He later told police he'd forgotten about the memo."  [Jack Chin]

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