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06/03/2003 Archived Entry: "In case you'Big Mac or Big Brother"

IF YOU'RE HAVING TROUBLE BREAKING AN UNHEALTHY FAST-FOOD HABIT, here's a little newsflash that might keep you away from that drive-up window:

Dressed as a McDonald's employee, an undercover officer worked the drive-through window March 21 and April 25 and spotted enough wrongdoing inside customers' cars to warrant six arrests and 29 citations.

According to arrest reports, Officer Glen Eppler did the undercover work - peering into customers' vehicles as they stopped at the window where money is exchanged.

When Eppler saw lawbreakers - from people smoking marijuana in plain view to those who hadn't strapped their children into safety seats - he would radio officers in patrol units down the street and have the cars pulled over.

"Hey! I ordered a Big Mac, not Big Brother!"

This happened in Ft. Myers, Florida, and reportedly neither the franchise owner nor McDonald's corporate HQ were aware that "McSting" was being conducted at their driveup window. The whole thing was set up by local cops and McDonald's managers. For this, Ft. Myers earned the Privacy Villain of the Week award from The National Consumer Coalition's Privacy Group.

Posted by Claire @ 06:04 PM CST

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