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Perth man perfects ultimate dine and dash crime, cannot be stopped

Batman has the Joker. Sherlock has Moriarty. And Perth restaurants have this guy.

A Perth man has become a serial dine and dasher, claiming over 20 restaurants as victims in his crime spree. The catch? It looks like by exploiting a loophole in the law, he can’t be stopped.

We are law-abiding citizens and we don’t want to give you any ideas but…

The scam goes like this.

The man goes to a restaurant and eats and drinks whatever he wants. He then tells the staff he has forgotten his wallet, gives his (real) personal details and promises to come back the next day to settle up. As a kicker, he even lets them take a photo of him. The balls on this guy.

The next day, the man doesn’t come back. Or the day after that. He is probably at a different restaurant, duping those poor schmucks out of more free stuff. How?

It isn’t a crime because it falls under contractual law.

ABC News reports that Chloe Debono, the head of operations at The Local Shack, one of the man’s victims contacted the police but was told that the man had committed no crime.

“It’s not theft because we have taken his details as surety and we have arranged for him to come the following day to pay for his meal and he has not turned up,” Debono said.

“It falls under contractual law; it is no longer criminal because it’s a contractual agreement where we have taken an assurance.”

After The Local Shack posted a warning and picture of the man on its Facebook page, other businesses soon chimed in to say they had been scammed.

Good evening all,

We don't normally resort to social media, however in this instance we have no choice.

Two nights…

Posted by The Local Shack on Wednesday, 7 June 2017

According to the post, the man is currently on parole in Perth for robbery, theft and other crimes.

Although businesses could take the man to court and try to recover the money, legal expenses will almost definitely outweigh whatever he spent in their restaurants.

While the man may have got some free meals around the place, his crimes have trashed his reputation. Judging by the Facebook comments about him (“cretin”, “parasite” “scum” and other colourful language), he isn’t exactly popular in Perth at the moment.

In the meantime, business owners should all take note. When customers can’t pay, do not enter into a contract with them.

About the author

Stefan is an Adelaide-based freelance writer. In his spare time, he plays tennis badly, collects vinyl and brushes up on his Mandarin. Follow Stefan on Twitter

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