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Police launch probe into ‘dine and dash’ party of seven who racked up eye-watering £489 Sunday lunch bill then ‘fled without paying’ – after restaurant bosses shamed group


Police have launched an investigation into the ‘dine and dash’ group who are accused of racking up a £489 bill for Sunday lunch at a restaurant and left without paying, MailOnline can reveal.

Officers visited Stubbs Restaurant in Ashford today to collect CCTV footage of the group leaving in an untaxed Audi car.

They also spoke with members of staff who served the party of seven who tucked into oysters and lobster thermidors before allegedly leaving without paying for the food and drink.

The popular restaurant released CCTV footage of the group leaving on their Facebook page in an attempt to try and identify them. But despite the widespread publicity the group have not come forward to offer to settle thebill, leading police to become involved.

A police spokesman said: ‘Kent Police is investigating after it was reported a group of people left a restaurant in Ashford without paying.

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Police have launched an investigation into the ‘dine and dash’ group who ran up a £489 bill for Sunday lunch at a restaurant and left without paying

Police have launched an investigation into the ‘dine and dash’ group who ran up a £489 bill for Sunday lunch at a restaurant and left without paying 

A party of seven who tucked into an enormous Sunday lunch including oysters and lobster thermidors that cost an eyewatering £489 before allegedly 'doing a runner' fled the restaurant in an untaxed £40,000 Audi

Furious bosses at Stubbs Restaurant in Ashford, Kent released CCTV footage of the diners that they claim drove off 'as fast as they could' after the meal

Furious bosses at Stubbs Restaurant in Ashford, Kent released CCTV footage of the diners that they claim drove off ‘as fast as they could’ after the meal 

Officers visited Stubbs today to collect CCTV footage of the group and spoke with members of staff who served the party of seven

Officers visited Stubbs today to collect CCTV footage of the group and spoke with members of staff who served the party of seven

‘The incident is alleged to have occurred at the Stubbs Restaurant in Canterbury Road, Ashford, during the afternoon of Sunday 29 October 2023 when the group of seven people ordered various food and drink to the value of £489.90.

‘The owner reported that the group left the restaurant after consuming the meals and did not pay for the items. Officers are carrying out enquiries including reviewing CCTV footage.’

Staff at the restaurant said they had been advised not make any further comment as police had become involved. 

The group involved could be charged under section 3 of the 1978 Theft Act which deals with people who dine and then leave without paying. It is an offence to ‘make off’ without paying or considered theft if there is a failure to pay when known that payment is required for goods or services. The offence carries a prison sentence of up to two years.

CCTV footage shows the group leaving in an Audi car worth approximately £40,000 which according to DVLA records, is untaxed.

The restaurant had appealed to the group to ‘please come back and pay your bill’ adding they were a private restaurant and would not survive with ‘you doing this.’

The group had dined on oysters and lobster thermidor as well as crispy brie and calamari during the Sunday lunch visit. They also ordered pints of Thatchers cider as well as glasses of Malbec for £10.90 each.

The ‘dine and dash’ party included three women. One of the CCTV images taken inside the restaurant show the women pouring over menus. Other images are those of two of the men in the group.

The restaurant shared the receipt of the group to Facebook, showing a total of £489.90 was owed

They enjoyed a variety of seafood and alcoholic beverages

The restaurant shared the receipt of the group to Facebook, showing a total of £489.90 was owed

A post by the restaurant on Facebook said the group left without paying the tab which totalled £489.90

A post by the restaurant on Facebook said the group left without paying the tab which totalled £489.90

Staff said the group left as fast as they could speeding out of the car park before they could be confronted.

The restaurant has bene deluged with messages of support from the local community following the social media posting.

They suggested the restaurant take a credit card imprint of all diners when they sit down to avoid a repeat of the dine and dash.

According to images of the customers’ receipt, the group enjoyed three lobster, crab and shrimp cocktails which cost £59.95. 

They then allegedly ordered two servings of crispy brie priced at £17.90, as well as a more moderately priced calamari at £9.95 and chicken liver parfait at £8.95. There were also two orders of a dozen oysters costing £16 each.

For their mains, the large party ordered four lobster thermidors which cost a total of £216, as well as an entrecote steak with a green peppercorn sauce for £31.50 and a skate dish for £23.95.

The group also bought drinks including three pints of Thatchers at £5.50 each, as well as a couple of 250ml glass of Malbec at £10.90 each and various glasses of Shiraz and Pinot Grigio.

The footage reportedly shows the group leaving in an Audi worth approximately £40,000

The footage reportedly shows the group leaving in an Audi worth approximately £40,000 

DVLA records revealed the Audi that the group appeared to flee in is untaxed

DVLA records revealed the Audi that the group appeared to flee in is untaxed

The group had dined on oysters and lobster thermidor as well as crispy brie and calamari during the Sunday lunch visit

The group had dined on oysters and lobster thermidor as well as crispy brie and calamari during the Sunday lunch visit 

Posting alongside images of the alleged customers, they wrote: ‘Please come back and pay your bill! We are a private restaurant and will not survive with you doing this to us. You ate all of your meal and we gave you fabulous service… yet you drove off, as fast as you could, without paying.’

Taking to the comment section of the post, other customers shared their support for the restaurant.

One wrote: ‘So sorry they have done this. We were eating just round the corner from them. Wondered why the waitress was looking at us, was probably afraid we would leave too.’

‘Terrible. Become like Hotels, take a CCard Swipe when customers arrive. Anyone with good intentions will never complain at that! Good luck getting it back’, another said.

A third pointed out: ‘How many more times are you going to let this happen. Surely alarm bells must ring when these people walk in and start ordering the most expensive items on the menu. 

‘I feel for you but you’ve had this happen on multiple occasions so logic says you need to tighten your systems up.’

Earlier this year, the restaurant encountered a similar incident. 

Taking to their Facebook on May 4, they shared an image of two young men, writing: ‘Please come back and pay your bill’.  



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