Pattaya’s phantom diner: Fake soldier leaves locals with tab after dine-and-dash

Photo: by vecstock, on Freepik.

A Thai man suspected of serial dine-and-dashing targeted two local Pattaya restaurants this month, leaving unsuspecting individuals to foot the bill. Posing as a soldier from Naresuan Camp, the fraudster would arrange a fake business meeting at the restaurant, consume a meal, and then quietly disappear.

Yum Workshop, a well-known eatery located in Soi Khao Talo, Nongprue sub-district, Banglamung district, Chon Buri province was the first to fall prey. On Tuesday evening, September 26, the man entered the restaurant and claimed to be meeting friends for a business-related discussion.

He ordered various dishes and three bottles of beer. Two hours later, three unsuspecting men joined him. However, the man vanished from the table within 30 minutes of their arrival, leaving the trio to deal with the restaurant staff.

Upon realising the man’s absence, the 41 year old restaurant manager, Wasna Kosaengrak, questioned the three men about their missing companion. To her surprise, they revealed that they were not friends with the man but were his supposed customers who were there to discuss a curtain purchase for his boss’s house.

After a suspicious phone call, he had excused himself from the table and never returned. The CCTV footage showed the man making his exit on a motorbike, leaving the restaurant with a loss of 1,065 baht.

While it is not clear if Wasna intends to press charges, she urged fellow business owners to be wary of such deceitful patrons.

Dine and dashing part II

In an unfortunate turn of events, another local eatery, Glin Krok Glin Sak, located in Soi Chaiyaphruek, Nongprue Sub-district, Banglamung district, Chon Buri province, shared a similar experience earlier in September.

The restaurant took to Facebook to share their encounter with a man who bore an uncanny resemblance to the one from Yum Workshop, reported The Pattaya News.

After viewing the CCTV footage from Yum Workshop, Woraporn Michaya, a 32 year old restaurant owner, confirmed that it was indeed the same man.

On September 1, he had claimed to be a soldier waiting for his Korean friends, ordered a full table of food and a bottle of beer, and left under the pretext of picking up his friends. The man never returned, leaving the restaurant with an unpaid bill of 800 baht, a significant loss for the struggling eatery.

While refraining from revealing the suspect’s face due to an ongoing police investigation, has confirmed that the Pattaya police have the man’s photographs and CCTV footage.

On further investigation, it was discovered that the man had a history of similar offences. In August, he had left an 800 baht bill unpaid at another Pattaya restaurant after leaving an empty phone case and cigarette pack as a ruse. Moreover, a few months earlier, he had claimed to be an employee of a well-known company, leaving a restaurant with an unpaid bill of 1,000 Baht.

As the Pattaya Police continue their investigation, the city’s restaurants remain on high alert, hoping to avoid becoming the next victims of the suspected serial dine-and-dasher.

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Top is a multifaceted news writer with a keen interest in real estate and travel. Top currently covers local Thai news at Thaiger. As a travel buff, Top blogs about his travels- around the world and Thailand- during his free time.

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