Police searching for ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ couple who always dine out at posh restaurants and dodge payments


Police are searching for a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde who always dine out at posh restaurants and then flee without making payment.

The pair are accused of swindling at least a dozen pubs and restaurants over the last 10 months, using the same trick each time.

After dining at posh restaurants, the couple will tender an apology when their card is declined, before dropping a fake address and phone number with promises to make payments later.

Norfolk and Suffolk Police are investigating five linked cases. 

Julie and Stephen Penney, who run the Swann Inn in Monks Eleigh, Suffolk, were hit by the fraudsters on Halloween.

The couple allegedly racked up a bill of £56 on dinner with double vodkas.

Julie, 52, said: "They have this down to a fine art. They were completely at ease, they didn’t give us any cause for concern.

"They were very confident and smooth."

Footage of the couple, captured on the Swan’s CCTV system, has since been handed to the police.

Julie added: "They must have been having a free meal every night at that point.

"To add insult to injury they asked if they could take a bottle of wine home.

“We’re all struggling massively at the moment. And to have a couple take advantage for their own selfish gains is not on.

"They’re like East Anglia’s Bonnie and Clyde."

When Julie posted about the couple on a pub owner's Facebook group, more than a dozen landlords and restaurateurs reportedly got in touch to say they too had been hit in exactly the same way.

It was also reported that the brazen fraudsters managed to dodge paying after staying a week at a hotel.

Suffolk and Norfolk forces are now working together to arrest the culprits who have also swindled some restaurants in Ipswich, Layham, Wreningham, and Bracon Ash.

A Suffolk Police spokesman said: "This type of behaviour of making off without payment for meals is simply unacceptable."

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