Brazen family of 8 caught on CCTV leaving restaurant 'without paying bill'

A family-of-eight who allegedly left a newly-opened Italian restaurant hundreds of pounds out of pocket after gorging themselves on pricey T-bone steaks has sparked public fury after being watched by 12 million people online.

The family reportedly sampled expensive steaks, guzzled down 15 bottles of fizzy juice and indulged themselves on double deserts at the Bella Ciao Italian restaurant in Port Talbot, just west of Swansea, on Friday evening, April 19. After enjoying their hearty meal the family left with their £329 bill unpaid, reports the Mirror.

Manager Tyrone Reese said his wife had an odd feeling when the family started sending back plates with meals left half-eaten. "They were ordering the most expensive things on the menu, like T-bone steaks and the like," he said.

The family allegedly left without paying their bill.
The family allegedly left without paying their bill. -Credit:Collect

"My wife said 'Something's not right.' They went full-on with their order but they were also sending plates back half empty."

After their meal, the mum tried to pay with a savings account card which declined twice before she allegedly told staff her son would wait inside while she went out to get her "other card."

However, the woman did not return, according to Rees.

Moments later the boy received a phone call and allegedly did a "runner."

"Once he gets to the door, he runs," Rees said. "My son was about to go after him but I told him not to."

Bella Ciao has only recently opened.
Bella Ciao has only recently opened. -Credit:Collect

More frustration was heaped on the family-owned restaurant when they soon learned that there was no way to contact the family as the number they used was "fake," according to Reese. Seeing no other option available to him, he reported it to the cops.

The dine and dash subsequently went viral on social media with over 12 million people viewing a post that showed the family being shared on X, formerly Twitter.

Soon, Rees was inundated with calls from other restaurants in the area, claiming that they also had similar incidents with a family that refused to pay their bills after dining out.

Rees said he was disappointed at the lack of urgency shown by the cops following the incident. "I don't understand how they [the family] can get away with this. I'm paying my tax for the police but I seem to be powerless. It annoys me to know this is happening and that they are getting away with it."

But after the dine-and-dash details were shared on Ciao Bella's Facebook page, the family had a nice surprise the following day. From filling 40 tables on Friday, the restaurant tripled the number to 120 the following day.

"When we opened we had 15 phone calls wanting bookings after what happened last night," Rees added. "I took it as a sign of solidarity. I felt fantastic, not about the money but about how people reacted positively to such a negative situation."

Leaving an establishment without paying is a crime and carries a prison sentence of up to two years. The Mirror has contacted South Wales Police for comment.

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