This Is Apparently How That Burger From In-N-Out Mysteriously Popped Up in NYC

A Queens teenager provided a literal receipt to prove the burger was hers.

In N Out Burger

Image via Getty/Frederic J. Brown/AFP

In N Out Burger

A NYC man gained national attention this week after he shared a photo of a perfectly wrapped In-N-Out burger on a street in Jamaica, Queens. 

The image left many people scratching their heads, as the nearest In-N-Out location was more than 1,000 miles away from the borough. How did the burger end up on a NYC street? How did it survive the long journey without getting soggy? And, perhaps the biggest question, who put it there?

Lincoln Boehm, the man who shared the first image of the abandoned In-N-Out double double burger is convinced he has solved the mystery. 

Boehm, who resides in Brooklyn, told the New York Post he had discovered at around 6:30 a.m. Saturday, as he and his wife were headed to McDonald's. 

"It genuinely shook me to my core," he told the publication about the pristine look of the burger. "We didn’t touch it. We stopped for a second and took photos and looked around to see if anyone else was noticing it and then we walked on."

Shortly after his photo went viral, Boehm received a wave a DMs from people who claimed responsibility for the burger. 

"I’ve received a lot of messages from people claiming to be the culprit," he wrote in a piece for Vice, "but after soft interrogation, their claims completely fell apart."

But there was one story that Boehm believes to be true. It came from Helen Vivas, a 16-year-old high school student from Flushing, Queens. The girl messaged Boehm stating she had purchased the In-N-Out burgers back in Encinitas, California, shortly before she boarded a flight back to New York. Helen said she informed an In-N-Out employee that she intended to take the burgers on a flight, and asked for suggestions on how to preserve the burgers during the trip. She said the worker advised her to get the burgers without sauce and offered to pack the "vegetables in separate baggies to be constructed later." This explains the burger's fresh-off-the-grill look.

Helen supported her story with several pieces of evidence. She presented Boehm a screenshot of her Instagram story taken at the In-N-Out location shortly before her flight, showed him a recent for her purchase, and shared text messages in which she tells her friends about dropping the burger after arriving in NYC. 

Per Boehm's Vice article:

[Helen] got off in Jamaica to make her transfer to the Q44 bus that would take her back to her home in Flushing, Queens when she saw the bus sitting a block away at the stop, about to leave [...] She started running down the street to try and catch the bus with the now slightly greasy bag of three In-N-Out Burgers in her hand. The good news: She caught the bus. The bad news: The bag burst open at the bottom while she made this fateful sprint.

But if she was sprinting, how did the burger land so perfectly? Boehm said he believed Helen's height played a big role. After the teen informed the man she was a litter taller than 5 foot, 2 inches, he recruited a co-worker to help test his theory. Boehm measured the distance from his colleague's hand to the floor, and determined the burger's fall was only 22 inches, which is why the damage was unnoticeable.

He concluded the story with a quick recap:

Helen Vivas, a 16-year-old high schooler and former badminton player from Flushing, Queens was running to catch a bus, and her meticulously packaged In-N-Out bag broke and released a Double-Double into the New York City streets. About an hour later, my wife and I arrived at Jamaica Terminal for a train to Westhampton Beach with time to spare, so we walked to the McDonald’s down the street to grab coffees, where I, Lincoln Boehm, a 31-year-old In-N-Out superfan from Santa Monica, California who has lived in New York City for nine years, found the burger. The rest is history.

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