“Can I get you a drink before you order?”
“Sure. Show me some ID.”
College kids were “double-dooring” pubs back when they were lit by gaslamps. But a new kind of scam has emerged — in, of all places, that gentrified hub of waterfront bars and bistros: Hoboken.
Police say a young man posing as a waiter is fleecing unsuspecting restaurant customers — proving once again that mom was right when she told you to be careful with your cash.
Investing little time in each establishment, the 20-something guttersnipe has filched nearly $200 — and those are just from two incidents that were reported late last week.
Police won’t know how many others the garçon serveur has conned unless more of them come forward. But in a city overflowing with eateries, that poses a problem: Do officials publicize the thefts — and, in doing so, hopefully catch the chiseler — or low-key it and not give copycats any ideas?
In one joint, the imposter approached two women who’d gotten their bill, asked them if they needed anything else before paying, then ducked out with $90 in cash.
In another, he asked to be put on a list to wait for a table, milled around for 20 minutes or so, then pulled he same scam on a trio of women. Only they gave him nearly $100 for a $66 bill, expecting change.
He was gone before they knew it.
Police haven’t released a sketch yet. However, according to the victims, he’s in his 20s, has spiky hair, and was wearing a dark button-down shirt with a yellow tie and khaki pants.
Not much to go on in a bustling town of Manhattan business-type commuters who pack any number of establishments on any given night.
With a police department forced to make deep cuts, it looks like restaurateurs on the waterfront are going to have to keep watch themselves.