Fake news local edition: Pie theft, not foul play, strikes St. George Auto Gallery

Photo shows pie smears, not blood, on refrigerator at St. George Auto Gallery, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of St. George Auto Gallery, St. George News

FEATURE — This special holiday edition of a feature debunking myths and misinformation circulating on social media takes readers to the scene of a local business.

Photo shows pie smears, not blood, on refrigerator at St. George Auto Gallery, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of St. George Auto Gallery, St. George News

NOT REAL: A photo showing what appears to be a possible homicide at St. George Auto Gallery has been circulating on social media in Southern Utah (or at least among the auto dealership employees, and we all know how much time they spend on Facebook and Twitter).

In the photo, smeared red handprints can be seen on a slightly ajar door of a refrigerator with a trail of milk leading out on the floor, as if someone were attacked while simply enjoying a chilled glass of their favorite beverage.

THE “FACTS”: While many who have seen the photo have speculated that the kitchen of St. George Auto Gallery was the scene of some awful crime – maybe even a murder – the truth is not nearly as horrific. But the actions of the suspect still at large as of publication of this report were still pretty nefarious.

It all started Thursday morning when Robert Rasmussen, sales manager at St. George Auto Gallery, arrived at his office.

“I walked into the building and immediately knew something was wrong,” Rasmussen said in a press release. “It was like a sixth sense, you know?”

That was when he noticed the spilled milk and dark red handprints on the door of the refrigerator. As it turns out, Rasmussen’s sixth sense was only his stomach, as his first thought wasn’t that the smeared prints were blood but rather “Oh no, not my cherry pie.” He had been saving the pie for Christmas Eve. Or maybe just Saturday.

A look in the refrigerator confirmed his fears. Rasmussen said he was heartbroken and bewildered that someone had eaten the pie made by his “sweet Sharron,” who has been a St. George Auto Gallery customer for many years.

As none of the alarms had been triggered and there was no sign of forced entry, Rasmussen said, it would appear to have been an inside job.

Justin Long, St. George Auto Gallery general manager, claimed he was at an annual holiday pie-eating contest, St. George, Utah, photo date not specified | Photo courtesy of St. George Auto Gallery, St. George News

Justin Long, general manager at St. George Auto Gallery, was questioned by police later that morning when they found him allegedly “sneaking around the office with a red-stained mouth and hands.”

The milk mustache was also highly suspect, police said.

Long said he recognized that it didn’t look good but told police he had been at an annual family holiday pie-eating contest the night before.

Police are still investigating.

“I don’t know who could have done this,” Long told reporters, “but I don’t blame them. The pie smelled so good, and the crust was this perfect golden brown. It even tasted better than the ones…I mean, it looked like it tasted better than the… No comment.”

The pie thief is still at large and considered dangerous, as police believe the suspect is armed with a fork and a spoon that have yet to be accounted for at the scene of the crime. They have advised area residents to secure their homes and more importantly, their delicious holiday treats.

Rasmussen said St. George Auto Gallery wants the responsible party brought to justice, adding that they are offering a “HUGE reward” for information leading to the capture and conviction of the guilty party.

THE REAL FACTS: This whole thing is fake (you might have guessed by now, but we need to legally say it). Local law enforcement is not actually involved in any investigation into a pie thief, so please don’t call them with tips. Nor is St. George Auto Gallery actually offering a “HUGE reward.” But if you’re looking for a great deal on a pre-owned vehicle in Southern Utah, give them a call at 435-628-4242, visit their website or find them on Facebook.

• S P O N S O R E D   C O N T E N T •

For some real “Fake News Friday” reports, an ongoing effort by The Associated Press to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online and to work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform, click here.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.


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