Related topics

Deadbeat Diner Is Sent to Jail

July 6, 1999

LEEUWARDEN, Netherlands (AP) _ For nearly 20 years, he feasted for free. Now the man the Dutch have dubbed the ``dinner pirate″ will have to make do with jailhouse grub for the next three months.

A judge in the northern city of Leeuwarden ordered the felon diner to serve a three-month jail term Monday after he confessed to ordering meals and wine at restaurants around the Netherlands, only to plead poverty when the bill came. The man was identified only as Albert B., as per custom in Dutch courts.

Police said the 54-year-old former tour bus driver with a taste for Chinese and Indian cuisine began his caper in the early 1980s, and now has a police file 33 pages thick. He was arrested after visiting the same restaurant twice within two weeks.

Authorities said the his modus operandi was always the same: When the waiter brought the check, the man would simply respond: ``You have a problem,″ and claim to be penniless.

Update hourly