A Westminster, Colo. couple have been charged with one count of theft after refusing to pay for dinner at the Outback Steakhouse.In a local CBS4 news report, Diane and William Luebke (73- and 74-years-old, respectively) claimed they had good reason to dine and dash – bad food and even worse service.
“It was like the waiter that was there but that wasn’t there,” William told CBS. When his wife left most of her dish in the bathroom, that was the last straw.
They complained to the manager, who agreed to comp their their $56.21 tab – or so they assumed. When the couple left, the restaurant called the cops and filed a report.
The manager only offered to cover half the bill, he told William, and the couple still refuses to pay.
Some restaurants claim “Dine & Dash” incidents spiked during the recession. The offence is enough to warrant criminal charges because suspects typically know they never intend to pay when they sit down for a meal.
Managers have gone so far as to use security footage and send out mass emails with photos of suspects to recover unpaid bills, according to SmartBrief’s Food & Beverage blog.
But what’s unclear now is whether this couple will be on the hook for theft. They were reportedly summoned to court this week, but one CBS commenter said the charges were dropped.
We reached out to the local police department, which hasn’t returned a request for comment.*
*Update: According to Investigator Cheri Spottke, the restaurant has decided to drop charges since the story went public. Spottke wasn’t able to comment on any prior offenses against the couple.
Public Information Unit
Watch the full news report below: