Court: Serial 'dine-and-dash' thief banned from restaurants

In what's believed to be a first for the United Kingdom, a court has banned a "serial dine-and-dasher' from sit-down restaurants after he pleaded guilty to nine offenses of dine-and-dashing.

And if you're picturing the Hamburglar or some poor high school/college kid, you'd be wrong. The guilty party is Neil Rogers, a 45-year-old man who did it to "impress his friends and make out he is some sort of bon viveur," according to Trevor Colebourne, defending attorney.

Dine-and-dash scene from That '70s Show

We're not even talking $15 tabs either. We're talking hundreds of pounds worth of food and booze.

  • At Ego, a Mediterranean restaurant in Lancashire, he ran up a £248 ($350.85 US) bill before handing over a credit card he knew would be declined.

  • And at Zen Asian fusion restaurant in Lancashire, Rogers' bill was £187 ($264.55 US) before he smoked bombed (figuratively) out of the building.

  • At an Italian restaurant called Margaritas, Rogers skipped out on a £122 ($172.59 US) tab.

Staff at Margaritas snagged a photo of Rogers and reported him to police. Rogers also admitted running up taxi bills and not paying, because why stop at just restaurants, right?

While this may be a first for the UK, we've seen similar in the US. In 2014, Baltimore's serial dine-and-dasher, Andrew Palmer, was given five years in prison for failing to pay his food bills over the course of several years.

So instead of caviar and pinot noir, Rogers is regulated to "pay first" restaurants like fast-food establishments and takeaways... so kinda like the Hamburglar.