DOCUMENT: Crime

Alabama Hotel Damaged In Phone Prank

Comfort Suites flooded after desk clerk falls for fire ruse

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Alabama Hotel Damaged In Phone Prank

JUNE 18--The spate of recent telephone pranks directed at U.S. businesses included a series of calls targeting several Alabama hotels, at least one of which suffered extensive damages when a Comfort Suites employee was convinced by an anonymous caller to pull a fire alarm. A Gadsden Police Department report, a copy of which you'll find here, details a June 6 incident at a Comfort Suites hotel that was flooded when sprinklers were triggered after employee Ann Cox pulled the hotel's fire alarm. According to cops, the hoaxster told Cox that there was a fire in the hotel. 'There was no way to determine where the call came from,' police concluded, according to the report. The Comfort Suites call was similar to a prank directed at a Conway, Arkansas hotel. That hoax call, also placed on June 6, caused about $50,000 in damages. (2 pages)