Richard Corrigan offers £1k meal for help catching dine-and-dash thief

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 21st January 2019

The patron is said to have exited the venue to smoke a cigar, never to return again 

Michelin-starred Irish chef Richard Corrigan says he’ll cook a £1,000 meal for anyone who helps him locate a diner who tallied up a £1,500 bill at his Mayfair restaurant in December, then walked out without paying.

The perpetrator – described by Corrigan as the best dressed thief he has ever seen in an interview with The Times - indulged in a three-course meal and one of the most expensive bottles of wine on the menu, then surreptitiously vacated the premises under the guise of smoking a cigar on the restaurant’s terrace.

Last week, the chef took to Twitter, sharing a picture of ‘Mr Pimpernel’ – a reference to the fictional escape artist and swordsman in an early 20th century novel – captured on the restaurant’s surveillance camera, calling on anyone with information to come forward.

Among the respondents, some debated whether the incident qualified as a civil or criminal offence, as the police could only be involved in the latter case.

Leaving a restaurant without paying is of course theft, as specified under section 3 of the Theft Act 1978, unless a refund or price reduction is requested by the customer on reasonable grounds under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

Similar rules apply under US Federal law, and some have learned this the hard way: earlier this year, a man named Paul Gonzales was sentenced to four months in prison after failing to pay for meals on twelve occasions.

Each time, Gonzales ate out with women met on dating apps, and left the unknowing (but presumably not heartbroken) ladies to foot the bill.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 21st January 2019

Richard Corrigan offers £1k meal for help catching dine-and-dash thief