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‘Dine and dash’ couple busted for hitting 5 restaurants for over $1,200 in free meals

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A pair of ravenous diners were busted for several “dine and dashes” of UK restaurants and swiping free meals totaling over $1,200 as police initially didn’t view the scheme as an emergency.

Ann, 39, and Bernard McDonagh, 41, of Sandsfield, Port Talbot, Wales are accused of dining at five eateries within a 30-mile radius of each other and leaving without paying their tab, according to Metro.

The McDonaghs were arrested and charged with five counts of fraud (obtaining services dishonestly).

Ann McDonagh was also charged with four counts of theft, the South Wales Police announced.

The fraudsters snatched the free meals on multiple occasions because local law enforcement didn’t view the calls as an emergency, according to one restauranteur.

Bernard and Ann McDonagh are accused of stealing over $1,200 worth of food from several UK restaurants following a wave of “dine and dashes.” Bella Ciao Swansea / Facebook

“They use the same procedure with premeditation and continue to rob without any consequences,” Spanish & Italian restaurant La Casona said.

The cheap patrons would dine in at their targeted establishment with four others.

After ordering and eating their large meals, which often cost upward of $400, four group members would quickly exit, leaving behind Ann McDonagh and a small child to “pay” the bill.

The pair allegedly would attempt the same scheme at each eatery, and pay with a card that would be declined then leave the restaurant without providing another form of payment. Bella Ciao Swansea / Facebook

“The woman tried to pay with a card which was declined. She said she would get another card from the car. We asked the boy to stay and wait for her in the restaurant. She left, and 10 seconds after, the boy started to run to the car,” the restaurant claimed.

The owners were told by police that it wasn’t an emergency and all they could do was report the incident.

“We sent CCTV recordings, photos, and even the registration plate number. The response was: ‘This vehicle is connected to many people…’”

“I have been waiting two months for any contact from the police. They didn’t even check CCTV records that I sent them after it happened,” Kinga Szczesniak, manager of La Casona told Metro.

With no updates since their original call, the management took matters into their own hands.

The restaurant posted their story and CCTV photos to Facebook to bring attention to the repeat offenders plaguing the local dining scene.

Ann McDonagh was also charged with four counts of theft on top of the five counts of fraud. Bella Ciao Swansea / Facebook

“Yesterday they asked me for recordings again,’ she said. ‘I said I already sent them before. The response was, “that was long ago” so they don’t have them.”

A day before the social media post was made, “another newly opened restaurant- Bella Ciao,” fell victim to the family’s nefarious plot.

“We also found out that they robbed The River House Restaurant last year in August. All restaurants reported it to the police. Will we get any response? Will justice be served? We don’t think so… They use the same procedure with premeditation and continue to rob without any consequences.”

The South Wales Police didn’t provide more information because “our investigation is ongoing.”



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