Man Tried to Rob a Diner, Made Up Sob Story to Get Free Pizza

The scammer walked away with a free meal from a Montana Papa John’s

A Montana resident is in police custody over robbery charges, after walking into a Helena Papa John’s and demanding money. He hasn't received cash, but has gotten away with a free meal.

On January 22, 33-year-old David Randall Lacey entered the restaurant with a bandanna covering his face. He asked the clerk to empty the cash register through a handwritten note he placed on the counter.

“Hay Bro r Sis I Don’t wont eny [expletive] just give me what I want AND you wont Get hert OK! Thank you,” it reads, according to police documents supplied by the Missoulian.

The contents of the register at 12:13 a.m. that day only amounted to $24.56 (€18). Upon noticing that only a small sum was available for him to take away, he broke down in tears. He then told the staff a sob story about needing to provide food for his family.

“At that point, the suspect became emotional and told the clerk he just needed to feed his wife and kids and that he didn’t have any money,” the court affidavit states.

A compassionate clerk offered advice to the man presenting himself only as “James.” He even prepared a pizza for him to take home, along with a basket of hot wings and a soft drink.

Officials have been alerted of the crime, and have discovered that the suspect has no children in Helena. He has tried to change his story since, claiming he was referring to the children of his close friends.

“David said that when the register was placed on the counter, he realized there was hardly any money. [...] At that point, David told the clerk the story about needing money for his wife and kids. David does not have any children in Helena and told me he was referring to his friends’ kids, who consider him an uncle,” a police report indicates.

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