Man suspected in 8 'dine and dash' cases arrested in Salt Lake City

Published: Friday, Nov. 8 2013 11:55 a.m. MST

A Colorado man found out the hard way there's no such thing as a free meal in Salt Lake City, police say.

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SALT LAKE CITY — A Colorado man found out the hard way there's no such thing as a free meal in Salt Lake City, police say.

Earlier this week, Salt Lake police arrested a man suspected in several dine and dash incidents after investigators say he invited people to dinner at least eight different times since September and then left without paying.

Bradford Michael Eblen, 36, listed as most recently living in Castle Rock, Colo., was arrested Tuesday for investigation of eight counts of theft of services, possession of meth, possession of heroin and possession of someone else's credit card.

According to a Salt Lake County Jail report, police say:

On Sept. 9, Eblen and a woman ordered food at the Salt Lake Hilton Airport Hotel and left without paying.

On Oct. 7, Eblen and a woman ordered $35 worth of food and drinks at Red Iguana, 736 W. North Temple, and left without paying.

On Oct. 9, Eblen invited a group to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, 275 S. West Temple, ordered $335 worth of food and drinks and left without paying.

On Oct. 22, Eblen and a group went to Village Inn, 910 E. 400 South, ordered food and left without paying. Police say Eblen's portion of the bill was nearly $60.

On Oct. 24, Eblen ordered drinks at Wing Nutz, 1188 S. Rio Grande, with a group and left without paying.

On Oct. 31, Eblen and a woman ordered food at Olive Bistro, 57 W. 200 South, and left without paying.

On Nov. 2, Eblen and three others ordered $200 worth of food and drinks at The Melting Pot, 340 S. Main, and left without paying.

On Nov. 5, Eblen and a woman ordered $86 worth of food at Olive Garden, 77 W. 200 South, and left without paying.

After the Olive Garden meal, police found Eblen near 240 W. 600 South and arrested him. Investigators found him carrying methamphetamine, heroin and three credit cards that were not his, according to the report.

Eblen told detectives he would go to restaurants with people and tell them he would pay for the meal, and then leave without paying for the dinner, the report states. He also allegedly told police that he knew he was carrying methamphetamine, but "didn't know he had any heroin."

Salt Lake police say Eblen has been convicted of theft-related charges in the past. He was convicted of felony drug possession in Sevier County in 2002, according to Utah court records.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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