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Social Media Helps Bust Serial Dine-And-Dasher (Photos)

| by Sean Kelly

A restaurant owner in Cleveland, Ohio, used Facebook to identify two brothers who left several area restaurants without paying.

Last Wednesday, the owner of Cleveland restaurant Bar Centro said that the two men rang up a $200 tab before going outside to supposedly have a smoke. They never returned, according to WKYC.

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Across the street at another popular spot, Crop, owner Steve Schimoler had a similar incident occur when two men racked up a $160 tab before leaving.

“Top shelf champagne, fois grois, short ribs,” Schimoler told WKYC. “All in, like they are really super foodies. Said they were gonna have a cigarette. They take off.”

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The next day, three more restaurants were reportedly victims of dine-and-dashers with the same descriptions as the previous places. Schimoler decided to post a warning on Facebook, with a photo of the suspects included, to help other owners out.

David Flowers, the general manager of another restaurant called Johnny’s, saw Schimoler’s post on Friday while eating lunch. 

“About 10 minutes later I look up, and there was Matt Gareau,” Flowers recounted to WKYC. Gareau and his brother Scott — both of whom, amazingly enough, used to work at Johnny’s — were the serial dine-and-dashers the city had been looking for.

“Sure enough when he saw an opportunity, he tried to bolt for the door. He said he didn't have any money, he was going to meet his aunt, and he'd be back later,” he said. 

Schimoler was able to get to Johnny’s in time to take a photo of Flowers' foot on Gareau while the man was lying on the ground.

“Yes, that was my foot on Matt and he kept trying to get up and leave and I had already hurt my shoulder so I couldn't do anything else except hold him down with my foot. Next time just ask me for a sandwich I'd be happy to help you out,” Flowers said. 

Sources: WKYC, Business Insider, Facebook

Photo Credit: Steve Schimoler/Facebook, Dan4th Nicholas/Flickr