MERRIAM, Kan. – Bars across the metro are warning others to beware about a man they believe is preying on their industry.
Allison Henry owns Hurricane Allie’s in Merriam. Last Friday, she said a man, who is seen on surveillance cameras, walked into her bar, volunteered his credit card and started buying shots for people.
“He was just really acting like he’s got a lot of money,” Henry said.
She didn’t make anything of it — that is until the man disappeared without paying for his tab.
“I had gone to the back to do something in the kitchen really quick and soon as he saw he had opportunity — because he looked toward the back to make sure I wasn’t right there — and he walked very quickly to his car and he left,” she said.
Henry said the man drank and ditched. The credit card he gave her turned out to be useless.
“We tried to run it, and it said no account, and I had never encountered that before,” she said.
FOX4 found at least eight bars across the metro who believe this same man conned them. They include:
- Headquarters in Lee’s Summit ($60)
- Bricks in Lee’s Summit ($50)
- The Bar in Mission ($220)
- Hurricane Allies in Merriam ($44)
- Danny’s in KCK ($274)
- Twin City Tavern in KCMO ($60)
- Coach Lite Club in KCK ($50)
- Drum Room in KCMO ($400)
The earliest alleged theft happened on June 6 with the most recent occurring this past Thursday. In all, the bars suffered a loss of nearly $1,200.
“Normal people don’t go around hurting small businesses,” Henry said. “We are literally just coming out of being shut down, and there are so many places that aren’t able to reopen because they just didn’t make it, and the few of us that are, and to come and do this to us it’s very insulting and hurtful.”
“He got me good,” said Connie Davis, a bartender at the Coach Lite Club in KCK. “Took all my trust out of people.”
Davis said the man was at her bar almost three hours on Tuesday.
“He kept getting all friendly, ordering shot after shot,” Davis said.
Davis thought she had a new customer. She even gave the man a few cigarettes. When they went to smoke, she said the man told her he had to use the bathroom. He booked it out a back door instead.
“It hurt me because I’m out here working all the time,” Davis said. “I work paycheck to paycheck. I mean, that comes out of my pocket.”
FOX4 tried reaching the man seen in the surveillance videos, but our calls went straight to voicemail. FOX4 did not name him because he hasn’t been charged with a crime.
“He needs to pay for what he did,” Davis said.
“Anybody could be a victim,” Henry said. “He has to be stopped. All of the bars need to know what’s happening, so none of us can be victims and as soon as we can shut this pattern down the better off we’ll all be.”
Henry and Davis both filed police reports. Police from those agencies tell FOX4 they’re investigating.