In the last year the NYPD says there was a 20% increase in the number of “chew and screwers” – customers who run up a restaurant or bar tab and then duck out before paying it. And it’s not just the usual “live fast die young crowd,” entire families and guys with Monopoly mustaches are getting in on the action.
The New York Post rounds up several restraunteur anecdotes about how they’re seeing professional-looking types do the ol’ “chew and screw.” They might say they’re getting a smoke, pretend that they forgot their wallet, or even use their kids. The children go outside to play, the parents follow, and all of a sudden they’re all gone.
Perhaps the most devious though are those who bring along props, like a credit card or old cellphone that they leave behind. They never return, and the supposed collateral turns out to be stolen.
Hey, what the check?! [New York Post] (Thanks to Alexa!)