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Facebook Helps Catch A Reno Man Dining-And-Dashing

Submitted by on August 4, 2013 – 10:33 am4 Comments

When Brewer’s Cabinet restaurant in Reno, NV lost $100 to a customer who claimed to have “forgotten his wallet,” they snapped a photo of the man and posted it on Facebook. Little did they know that the customer, Saul Zelaznog, had been pulling the same trick all over town and would soon be in police custody.

The Facebook post has now racked up over 400 likes and 800 shares. Users quickly identified the previously unknown man, at which point more information started pouring in.

In the comments, the restaurant points out that Zelaznog was dining at a table, not running up a tab at the bar, so he was not required to hand over a credit card initially. They also suggest that when Zelaznog was confronted with the bill, the situation “escalated,” and they let him go out of concern for the staff and other patrons.

The Reno Gazette-Journal caught up with Zelaznog, who said that “it was a mistake” to go out to eat without a method of payment, and that he is asking his family to wire him money. Zelaznog also admitted that this has happened at another restaurant, but claims he left a “nice watch” as collateral.

But local news station KRNV cites at least three other restaurants and bars that have confirmed Zelaznog leaving unpaid bills, and a fourth commented on Brewer’s Facebook post. Facebook users also uncovered records that show Zelaznog was arrested for “using a credit/debit card or ID without consent” in 2012, and that he has also gone by the name “Gonzalez” (“Zelaznog” is “Gonzalez” backwards).

Just two days later, Zelaznog was arrested for “a parole violation.”

Social media is becoming an ever more useful tool in fighting crime. On the simplest level, police have for years reportedly apprehended criminals after discovering them bragging on Facebook.

[via Time]

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