Truck stops seem to be a magnet for unusual activity.
You never know the kinds of people who are coming or going, and it's no wonder these ominous 24-hour hubs for weary travelers are often associated with drug deals or murder – as depicted in the movies.
While travelers quickly go about their business grabbing munchies before hitting the road, employees have a front-row seat to some interesting happenings.
Curious to hear what they have witnessed, Redditor PreemptiveShaming asked:
The next time you take a break from your road trip, you may want to be cautious of who you are asking where the bathrooms are.
Importance of Location
"I worked at a gas station/truck stop for over a year in high school. I have lots of stories."
"So, one time I'm closing up the station. I was starting to count the till, before I turn on the security system and leave. I've got a wad of twenties when 4 cop cars come ripping into our lot. I run to the windows, 2 cops go to the back and the other 2 position at the corners where it's hard to see them through the windows."
"Now, I'm an idiot high schooler, so I'm trying to look out the window grasping $300 in 20's., when I realize they've got weapons drawn and are trying to look at me. I put my hands up, cash in hand, and start yelling that I'm an employee. They let me unlock the door and come in."
"They were nice but clearly frustrated that I set off the alarm. I tell them 4-5 times that the alarm was not set, but they insist that I'm wrong and that they had a clear security report. So I took them to the panel, verified it was off."
"Then my smarts kick in. 'Hey guys, what address was the alarm for?'"
"'303 Baker. Why?'"
"'That's not our address. That's ABC supply a block north.'"
"They moved quickly to that business. I heard later that the safe was taken from that supply store."
"I worked at a weigh station for big rigs. There were two of us at the station working nights waiting for trucks to pull onto the scale. If anything weighing more than a pound got on the scale it would send an audible beep into the booth and light up the computers. If it wasn't a trucks then most of the time it would be the wild life wondering out onto the scale which we would ignore then quickly go back to watching Netflix or whatever. One night though it was something weighing 132 lbs. We couldn't see it from the windows but checking the cameras we noticed it was a hunched over naked man shaking like a sh**ting dog and scratching the side of his face. While my co-worker radioed for the State Troopers I used the intercom to tell him to get off of the scale. Instead he lurched on over and began licking the window. He did this until he was checked out by EMS and taken away by Law Enforcement for public intoxication. It was later discovered he was using meth."
An Appetizing Sight
"Weirdest was pulling up to a truckstop to fill up in southeastern South Dakota during the height of the mayfly hatch, millions of bugs all over."
"I started filling up and was getting ready to clean my windshield and I happened to look over across the way and there was some dude driving a big box truck in the diesel fueling area. He was scraping them off the front of his truck...and eating them by the handfuls. Ah the days before cellphones were a thing."
"It was honestly the single most memorable thing I've ever witnessed in my countless cross-country trips since the late 90's. I just stood there, mouth agape, not believing what I was seeing. And every time I remember it I'm sad I didn't have a cellphone to record it, because it was just so crazy."
"I'm sure mayflies are nutritious and I'm not knocking cultures that eat bugs. But mayflies smell like fish feces to me and eating them straight off the front of your car is just extra special."
The Helpful Suspect
"Years ago when i was a kid we were travelling with my mum, her best friend and my sisters. We were pretty tired and pulled into a truck stop for some food and bathroom break. We walk in my mum asks a guy where the bathrooms were he points us in the right direction and off we toddle. We come out, take a seat and wait for the waitress to come take our order, she seems to be taking awhile but we figure she's probably busy and will come when she can. eventually she comes over and tells my mum that everything is okay and the police are on their way, my mum pretty confused asks her what she means. Well turns out we had walked into the middle of an armed robbery and my mum had actually asked the robber where the toilets were."
An Explosive Account
"Worked in a sandwich restaurant in a truck stop. One day several years ago on one of my days off one of our maintenance workers (we'll call him Michael) was doing his rounds changing trash cans in the truck parking lot. Michael supposedly happened across a two or three foot length of PVC with caps on either end. For most people, alarm bells should be going off. Not for Michael! He started lightly beating things with it and tossing it on the ground. Like one would with a small branch or something."
"Guy takes it INTO THE TRUCK STOP and throws it away in the garbage can under the cash register and forgets about it. Several hours later at shift change he's giving an informal report to the incoming shift manager and casually mentions that he found 'something like a pipe bomb or something in the lot' and that he threw it away under the register. Shift manager goes white as a ghost and says 'there's... a pipe bomb... under the register?' Michael says 'yeah.'
"The shift manager immediately vacates the premises, herds all the employees and customers out, and phones the authorities. The volunteer fire department which I happen to be a member of got toned out to block traffic into the parking lot and keep people at a distance. Sheriff's department shows up, realizes this is above their pay grade, calls the state police. They quickly realize the same and call in the bomb squad from the nearest major city and the ATF. All these important people are slowly gathering in the parking lot a healthy distance away from the building while I keep having to run back and forth across the parking lot in the 95 degree heat in turnout gear to explain to pissed off truck drivers that no they cannot go in the truck stop while there's a bomb inside and no I did not make that rule."
"The news ends up showing up. The ATF shows up. They suit up in bomb suits, walk in, carry the pipe bomb out, set it on the ground at the corner of two concrete walls of the building, run some detonation cord back to their truck, and set it off. The explosion was the size of a somewhat large fire cracker. Michael got fired."
"Edit: it probably wasn't an actual bomb of any kind. Could've been a pipe full of welding rods. AFAIK det cord will blow up anyway so it could've just been the det cord explosion and nothing else."
Final Resting Place
"Overnight shift supervisor 15 years ago. On Valentine's Day, then 18 years old, I was the only lonely motherf*cking shift supervisor to be able to work 2nd shift at McD's rest area because, again, lonely with no date. I'm half asleep working the shift, guy comes in high as a kite, actually he's higher than kites can go. He orders his food and leaves. An hour later, my cleaning guy (we'll call him Pedro) tells me there's a guy on the toilet that won't come out. We go in, keep knocking and we're thinking he's sleeping on the sh**ter.
We can see his pants around his ankles, and he's leaning down. While I go call the cops, i tell my cleaning guy to block the bathroom so know one goes in to that part of it - there's two sides to the bathroom. Pedro comes out and tells me the guy is purple and dead, on the sh**ter. He overdosed on something, not sure what. The kicker is that Pedro decided it was in his best interest to run the guys pockets before the cops show up - which is how he found out the guy was dead. Pedro took the guys stash and money before leaving. I found out a week later as I overheard it through the crew talking. Fun times at that place. Felt bad for the guy. I wouldn't want to go out that way."
"I managed a truck stop an hour east of Winnipeg in the late 90's. This was around the time that Western Star came out with their one way full window bunk. We had a regular base of clientele that would stop both ways. Surprise to no-one, one of the regulars became enamored with one of the waitresses. She had complained to me about this driver two weeks before and I assured her I would deal with it if he continued to make her uncomfortable."
"On his return trip he stopped in, I watched, saw nothing untoward, he ate and then left for his truck. As the Western Star full window bunk has been mentioned he was parked right in front of the restaurant's bay window.
I am back in the kitchen helping with prep and I hear my name called and then I HEAR MY NAME CALLED!"
"I walk out, look out the window and see the sun hitting the bunk window of this truck at just the right angle to witness this Dude yanking on his wiener so f'king hard that I thought he was going to rip it off. All the while he's staring straight at the waitress through the window of the restaurant. Before I could react he realized that we could see him, jumped in the saddle, pants around his ankles and hightailed it onto the highway. I think he must have grabbed 5 gears inside 20 feet getting it going. We never saw him again."
The Horrible False Alarm
"I was on a ride-along when I worked for an international trucking company... and we pulled up at a large truck stop and had some dinner."
"After a while this lady comes in and starts talking to people... and it turns out that she is looking for her 13yo daughter. She had run away from home and left a note saying that she was meeting a guy here, a trucker that she met on the Internet."
"Long story short... everyone is talking about what they have seen, and the mother is barely keeping it together... when a waitress comes in to start her shift. We bring her up to speed, and the first thing she says in front of the whole group is "If you are looking for a body, did anyone check the dumpsters out back?.'"
"Needless to say the mother then lost her shit... literally... she fell to the ground and pissed herself and was ugly-crying so hard you wouldn't believe it if you weren't there."
"Anyway it turned out that the truck driver was a sweet guy who was told she was 22yo and just needed a ride home because she was broke. He worked out she was a child in about 0.1 sec, and took her directly to the nearest Police Station."
The Traffic Blocker
"The worst incident I ever saw, co-worker asked if I had any ideas how to flush a turd in the toilet. I was kind of flabbergasted by his question so I told him break it up with the plunger and get it down. He said he had tried just that and it wouldn't break so I honestly, against my better judgement had to see for myself."
"F'king turd was about twice as big around as a soda can and about 8 inches long and as hard as a f'king rock. My question is this, how the f'k didn't we see the guy walking out? I mean seriously that had to have ripped something and made him bleed. Still to this day that image haunts me to the core."
A Stabbing, A Hold-up, A Car Crash, & More
"I have sooooo many! We had a guy come in with four stab marks to his chest and all he wanted to do was call his mom. We called the cops for him and it turned out that his girlfriend had stabbed him. When the cops showed up they told him to just go home."
"One of my coworkers had a gun pulled on him because he opened a can of soda and it made a loud pop that it scared the customer."
"Had this person accidentally put their car in drive instead of reverse and they drove into the store. The power went out in the store and as protocol we have to evacuate when that happens."
"We had a customer screaming at the top of her lungs that we were trying to assault her when we tried to get her to leave the store."
"A semi truck driver drove over two of our gas pumps because she couldn't turn correctly and then she fled the scene. Gas was literally spilling everywhere. Luckily we caught it all on video so we were able to contact her company and get her to take responsibility for the damages."
Return To Owner If Found
"I worked at a truck stop once and got a call over my ear piece from maintenance saying they found something bad at one of the diesel pumps. I asked what it was and he said he'd have to send a picture because he didn't believe it. It was a huge thick black sex toy..just sitting on the pump."