“This happened about ten years ago when I was still in high school. I used to work at a restaurant as a busboy. One particular night, a man came in by himself and ordered a pizza, an appetizer, and a few brewskis. Nothing weird about him, but it was a slow night, and I distinctly remember him because I’m fairly certain he had come in to dine before. He ate his food and left. I cleaned the table after he left, and as soon as I was finished, the waitress who had his table asked me if I accidentally threw his bill and money away. Now at this point, I had been working at the restaurant for two years, and I always check to make sure there isn’t any money or credit card receipt on the table before I throw anything away. Well, the guy had left without paying. Yeah it sucks, and yes the waitress got stiffed on what would have been a mediocre tip, but it sucks knowing that we probably would never catch the guy because who is dumb enough to come back to a restaurant in which you previously dined and dashed?
Well, fast-forward three weeks. It was another slow night, and I noticed a familiar face walk in the door. He was by himself and one of the waitresses sat him at a booth. Now I knew for sure that it was the same guy that was in the restaurant three weeks prior that left without paying. I asked the waitress what he ordered, and it was an appetizer and a pizza. I told the owner that this guy was the same guy that stiffed the restaurant three weeks ago. The owner pulled up that old receipt and it was identical to what the guy had just ordered.
One of the pizza cooks was pretty intimidating looking. He had lots of tattoos up and down his arms and had a general mean look on his face most of the time (he was actually a very nice guy). So the owner told him to go stand by the door in case the guy tried to leave without paying. The pizza cook also made a point to not break eye contact with the customer.
At this point, everyone working knew what was going on, so occasionally other employees would come to the dining room floor and take a peek at the guy. The guy started noticing that the employees were looking at him, and he became obviously uncomfortable. The manager went to his table and explained that his food was ready, but he would have to pay his bill before he received his food. She didn’t mention his other unpaid bill yet. He then requested that his order be ‘to go.’ The manager went back and packed up his food. Meanwhile, the guy got up to use the bathroom. Once he walked toward the bathroom, the pizza cook watching the door left his post to go talk to the manager about what was going on. The guy saw his opportunity, took the food the manager left on the table, and booked it out of the restaurant. The manager and I both saw him leave, so she ran out after the guy.
She caught up to him pretty quick and asked why he left and didn’t pay his bill.
He tried to play dumb and said, ‘Really? I thought I left money at the table.’
The manager told him, ‘No, you didn’t pay, and you also didn’t pay for your meal last time you were here.’
He then said, ‘Well I only live a few blocks away, I was just running home to go get money to pay for my food.’
The manager brought the guy back in and sat him down at the bar then proceeded to call the police.
The cops showed up a few minutes later and asked the guy why he didn’t pay this time or last time. The guy exercised his right to remain silent and was put in handcuffs and walked out of the restaurant into the back seat of the police car all while the employees and the few customers that were present were all clapping loudly.
The guy never came back after that.”