Police seek identity of J. Michael’s dine-and-dash suspect

Police seek identity of J. Michael’s dine-and-dash suspect

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Detectives with the Wilmington Police Department are asking for the public’s help to identify a man who skipped out on his tab at J. Michael’s Philly Deli earlier this month.

Police said the man was eating with a group of people at the Oleander Drive location on March 10 and failed to pay for the $105 meal.

The owner of J. Michael’s told WECT last week that he’s seen a surge in dine-and-dashers in 2019.

“We had an occasional walkout, but starting from the first of this year, it seems it’s gotten more intense the last couple of months," said J. Michael Hutson during a March 15 interview. “We’ve had an extreme number of walkouts."

At the time, Hutson said the most recent walkout was the March 10 incident. Surveillance video captured a man in the group pulling out his wallet after the meal, then placing it back in his pocket.

He crumpled the bill and threw it in the trash before walking out the front door right past the cash register.

“He was pretty brazen about it, and I mean, they were a beautiful family, a nice looking family," Hutson said. “I don’t understand what would possess someone to do that.”

Hutson said the walkouts this year have totaled more than $1,000. Most of the thefts are occurring at the deli location in the Hanover Center off Oleander Drive.

If you have any information, please contact the Wilmington Police Department at 343-3609 or send an anonymous tip to Text-A-Tip by texting “CRIMES” (274637) and starting the text with “Tip708.”

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