Thursday, March 27, 2008

911 pranks send cops to three McDonald's

Calls about armed robberies Wednesday at several McDonald's restaurants in central Iowa were hoaxes, police said.

Ames police received three 911 calls before lunch of a possible armed robbery at the McDonald's in Ames. That was followed by two calls making similar claims at McDonald's in Boone and Marshalltown.

The caller told dispatchers he saw a group of possibly three or four men wearing masks walking into the McDonald's carrying guns. Police immediately responded to the three locations, but found nothing out of the ordinary.

It's not clear where the calls came from, but it does not appear the calls were made by anyone inside the restaurant. Police believe the same person made all three calls.

One of the calls that came into Ames police was transferred to officers in Boone. They are conducting a similar investigation, but said at this point it's too soon to tell if this was someone playing a prank or part of a larger hoax. Police are looking into the possibility these calls may be part of a hoax called "swatting," which is an attempt to trick 911 operators to dispatch an emergency response team. (info from KCCI TV)

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