Two men were arrested Wednesday after running out on their bill at a Mexican restaurant, said Sgt. Mike Oden of the Lodi Police Department. They were snagged by members of an auto theft task force patrolling the area.
A diner at Casa Mexicana on Kettleman Lane called police when they saw two men leave the restaurant without paying for their meals. The pair got in a car and drove south on Ham Lane.
Meanwhile, members of the Delta Rural Auto Task Force saw a car driving erratically on Ham Lane and thought there was a chance the car was stolen.
The fleeing car pulled over voluntarily on Dartmoor Circle after a short pursuit. Cpl. Misty Springmeyer assisted in arresting driver Edgar Gutierrez, 20, for evading police officers and driving with a suspended license.
That's when the call came in about the dine-and-dash.
Springmeyer and the rest of the team discovered that the two in the car were identified as the same men who left the restaurant before paying.
Gutierrez and passenger Jacob Hardwicke, 22, now face the unique additional misdemeanor charge of defrauding an innkeeper.
The Delta RAT is a combined law enforcement group of several San Joaquin County agencies specifically assigned to investigate car thefts.