COPS NAB ‘EAT-AND-RUN’ SUS­PECT

Ro­ma­nian ring­leader led peo­ple to feast in Span­ish restau­rants with­out set­tling bills

New Straits Times - - World -

SPAN­ISH po­lice have ar­rested a Ro­ma­nian man sus­pected of be­ing the ring­leader of a large group of peo­ple who ate thou­sands of eu­ros worth of food at two restau­rants be­fore flee­ing with­out pay­ing the bill.

The 48-year-old was de­tained on Mon­day in the north­west­ern city of Pon­fer­rada in the prov­ince of Leon, and po­lice are look­ing for a sec­ond Ro­ma­nian sus­pect, the In­te­rior Min­istry said.

The de­tained man would ap­pear in court, the min­istry said in a state­ment.

Po­lice launched their in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter a group of more than 100 peo­ple, pur­port­ing to cel­e­brate a bap­tism, en­joyed a €2,000 (RM9,400) ban­quet on Feb 27 at the Ho­tel Car­men restau­rant in Bem­bibre, north­ern Spain, be­fore promptly do­ing a run­ner.

“They were danc­ing, then sud­denly they had dis­ap­peared. In one minute, a hun­dred peo­ple had left,” restau­rant boss An­to­nio Ro­driguez told Cadena Ser ra­dio.

“They didn’t leave in lit­tle groups. No, they went all at once.”

It later emerged that an­other restau­rant, about 10km away in Pon­fer­rada, was also the scene of a sim­i­lar heist in mid-Fe­bru­ary — that time by a group of around 200 peo­ple.

They were al­legedly cel­e­brat­ing a wed­ding, when they also fled with­out pay­ing a bill of some €10,000 to €12,000.

“In both crimes, the modus operandi was the same,” the In­te­rior Min­istry state­ment said.

The ar­rested man posed as the god­fa­ther of the bap­tised child and the fa­ther of the groom when he made the book­ings, lo­cal news­pa­per Diario de Leon re­ported.

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