This article originally appeared on VICE US.
A group of partygoers were slapped with a $26,000 fine for breaching coronavirus stay-at-home restrictions in Melbourne last week after police tracked a bulk KFC order back to the gathering.
A two-person order for about 20 meals’ worth of fried chicken at 1:30AM on Friday raised suspicions among a group of ambulance workers who happened to be visiting the store at the time. They notified police, who followed the car to a nearby townhouse and discovered a number of people hiding under beds, in the garage, and out in the backyard.
A total of 16 fines for breaching coronavirus restrictions were issued at the one party.
“That is absolutely ridiculous that type of behaviour, and it’s a very expensive night,” said Victorian police commissioner Shane Patton. “That’s $26,000 that birthday party is costing them. That’s a heck of a birthday party to recall and they’ll remember that one for a long time.”
The state of Victoria, which is struggling to contain a devastating second wave of COVID-19, posted a record 288 new cases on the same day. Stage three lockdown measures, which prohibit individuals from visiting other people’s homes unless it’s for the purposes of giving or receiving care, came into effect just a day earlier.
In the course of that 24-hour period police conducted almost 1,000 spot checks on people at homes, businesses, and public places, according to Commissioner Patton. Sixty infringement notices were issued to Melburnians, including those at the KFC party.