A Norwegian man in his 40s who has swindled restaurants in the Oslo area for years was re-arrested during the weekend after running off before paying his bill. Loopholes in the law, however, make it difficult for police to keep him in custody.
The man has made a habit of eating and drinking well, often to the point of intoxication, and then leaving the restaurant before paying his bill. Newspaper Romerikes Blad reported that he has failed pay what’s owed at around 100 restaurants over the years.
On Friday he was back in action, running up restaurant bills in Jessheim, Lillestrøm and Drammen. Newspaper Drammens Tidende (DT) reported that he was so drunk when police arrested him that they had to take him to the local emergency clinic for a medical check before locking him up at the police station.
He’s been convicted on 18 occasions but police can be frustrated by a Norwegian law that maintains it’s not a criminal offense to eat and drink without paying if the culprit reveals his or her identification, presumably for payment later. “And he does that,” Trond Egil Groth, police operations leader in Drammen told DT. The serial swindler also slept off his hangover at taxpayer expense on Saturday.