The hoax 'murder scene' in an Edinburgh street was caught on Google's Street View.
The 'murder scene' hoax caught on Google Street View.Street View screenshot

A garage owner was forced to apologize for staging a hoax 'murder scene' in an Edinburgh street, which was caught on Google Street View.

This comes after a disturbing image of a 'murder', captured by the Street View facility of Google Maps, went viral for some time, before it was revealed that it was just a hoax.

Confronted with evidence of a brutal crime while scanning through the streets of Leith, a shocked Google Maps user called the police to report the apparent broad daylight murder which appeared to have been dramatically captured by Google.

Officers from Police Scotland were deployed to investigate but they soon discovered that the 'cold-blooded murderer' and his 'lifeless victim' were only staging a mischievous hoax.

The pranksters said that they staged the fake homicide as they saw Google's camera car passing alongside their garage on Giles Street.

Dan Thompson, 56, apologized to the police after the story went viral within hours. The mechanic, who owns Tomson Motoers on Giles Street, was lying down on the road while his colleague stood beside him with a pickaxe, after spotting the Google camera car from distance.

"By complete fluke I saw the Google car coming along the road but it had to loop the block so I had one minute to rush back inside the garage and set up the murder scene," Thompson told BBC Scotland News website.

"I recognised the Google car coming into the street from the camera tower on the top. Giles Street is in a U-shape so we had about a minute before it would pass us. It had to go around a car park to take various shots so that gave us some time. We just thought we had to do something. This opportunity wasn't coming around very often so Gary grabbed a pick axe handle and we ran out into the street," the mechanic told the Scotsman.

"We decided really quickly what to do and I lay down while Gary stood over me with a pick axe handle. I wish we'd a little more time because we would have went out mob-handed and really staged an elaborate tableau for the camera (sic)."

Police officers were apparently impressed by the gag and left Thompson's garage satisfied that they cracked the case.

"There are pictures of men on Google flashing their bums but we thought we would be more classy," he said adding: "We had forgotton about it when the police arrived a year later and we apologized for wasting police time. They found it funny."

The Google image was taken in August 2012 but it was not till a year later that the pictures were uploaded.