St Albans restaurant loses £231 after dine and dash incident
- Credit: Archant
A St Albans restaurant has lost more than £200 after it was visited by a dine and dash group for the second time in weeks.
On September 9, at about 2.30pm, five women went into Veer Dhara on Hatfield Road and ordered food and drink totalling £231.
They described as being in their 20s or 30s and were wearing a variety of casual clothes such as jeans, jumpers or sportswear.
However, when it came to payment, owner Darshit Hora said the group started complaining of illness and leaving the building without settling the bill.
He said: "They came in and ordered too much food and selected the most expensive food on the menu with cocktails on the side.
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"My manager had a feeling about it because the group knew that we had a lunch and à la carte menu and they were reluctant to order from the menu that was more expensive.
"In St Albans there are really good customers so we don't expect this sort of thing."
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This is the second time Darshit has recently been the victim of this crime - a couple of weeks ago two women came in and ordered takeaway, sitting at the bar as they waited. However, when the meal was ready they declined the food and left without paying their drinks bill.
Darshit believes the two incidents may be related: "For any business it is a hard time at the moment, we are going through a tough time.
"We have had two summers that are unusually hot and Indian is seen as a bit spicy for some people. That's fine, but going through this tough time and then having these customers..."
Darshit, who has been running the restaurant for 10 years, said: "I couldn't have had a better time with St Albans customers.
"I just want these customers to apologise, pay for it, and not repeat it anywhere else."
Veer Dhara has CCTV images of the women, but he did not want to post them on social media because he was not sure if that was "the right thing to do".
Herts police confirmed they are investigating the incident.
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, using reference 41/81856/19.