Police are investigating a series of dine-and-dash incidents in Perth after a restaurant posted CCTV vision online of a couple it says spent hundreds of dollars on food and drink before skipping out on the tab.
Klarke Macgill is a restaurant supervisor at a Swan Valley venue where the pair came in for a meal on Saturday just before 5:00pm.
“They ordered a few cocktails to start with and nothing suspicious about them whatsoever,” Mr Macgill said.
He said the couple seemed to lull the restaurant into a full sense of security — coming and going before they finally absconded.
“They started off this pattern of going outside for a smoke together and one was going to the toilet while the other was going outside for a smoke,” Mr Macgill said.
“They did that a few times and they came back in so it gave us the idea that they weren’t the type of people to ‘dine and dash’.”
He said the couple ordered cocktails, a bottle of sparkling wine, an entree and dessert totalling nearly $250 — but they fled before the final dish was delivered.
Mr Macgill said the couple spent more than hour at the restaurant.
The venue posted CCTV of the pair on Facebook on Monday before reporting the matter to police the next day.
“We have given them a fair chance in calling us and settling their tab but we have not received a single answer from that couple so we will be pressing charges,” Mr Macgill said.
He had not seen the couple in his four years at the venue but since sharing the couple’s image, he said he had been told they had struck at other restaurants.
The venue says the couple fled without paying their $250 bill. (Facebook: Elmar’s in the Valley)
Dishonest diners allegedly duped others
Toby Evans owns a restaurant at Hillarys Boat Harbour and said the pair had also struck his venue.
“They’ve come by twice. It’s the same modus operandi every time. They come in very nice, very friendly. They ordered cocktails, expensive wine, and they acted very friendly to the waitresses. They’d go out for cigarettes,” Mr Evans said.
He also put a warning on Facebook about the couple.
“I was hoping more people would be aware, it has all helped. It’s built the case,” Mr Evans said.
“The police said [at the time] there’s not much they can do but hopefully [the pair] really will get their desserts this time.”
Mr Macgill said some customers had “dined and dashed” before, but mostly it was because people had genuinely forgotten to pay their bill.
“Sometimes people do walk out and they have actually called in and paid the bill over the phone. When that happens, I’ve personally given them discounts for being honest,” Mr Magill said.
Police confirmed they had received a complaint and were investigating as to whether it was linked to a series of similar incidents.