Dine-and-dash Mom Drives Away With NJ Diner Owner on Hood of Car
EWING — Police are investigating two different thefts that happened within four days of each other at the Ewing Diner.
First, there was a break in at Ewing Diner
Peter Gromitsaris said two men wearing hats, dark glasses, masks and hoodies broke into the restaurant on Parkway Avenue in Ewing around 4:50 a.m Thursday.
They used crowbars to force open the door and steal money from two offices in the basement Thursday, he said.
The thieves got away with $2,000 in cash and another 5,000 euros, according to Gromitsaris.
They also destroyed two office doors and a back door valued at nearly $12,000.
Diner owner nearly confronted crooks
Gromitsaris said he was pulling in as they were leaving and missed confronting them by just one minute.
"One minute apart I would have been face-to-face with them," Gromitsaris said. "It was not going to be a good meeting meeting."
It was the first time the diner had been robbed in his 23 years in business.
Then, there was a 'dine-and-dash'
The theft that seems to bother Gromitsaris more was a woman and a young girl who ran out on a $58 lunch check on Sept. 29.
"Dining and dashing" is a weekly occurrence at the Ewing Diner but this time it was different. Gromitsaris said he was next door at a Speedy Mart and saw the pair run out of the diner.
After checking with his son Stratos, he went after the woman in the parking lot.
Diner owner's life was threatened, he says
"She almost hit me when she reversed the car. I went to the right side and approached. She cracked the window a little bit and she says 'get out of my way or I kill you,'" Gromitsaris said. "She drove the car twice into me. I was up front and jumped on the hood."
He believes it was planned because the woman put a hood on her head when she walked in.
Gromitsaris said he is more concerned about the example the woman is setting for the young girl.
"These people they teach their kids to be the same way as them. When this girl grows up is she going to do the same thing the mother do," Gromitsaris said.
Diner owner says his business is staying
Despite his concerns about theft and the state of the world, Gromitsaris isn't going anywhere soon. He says he has invested over a million dollars in the business to make it bigger over the years.
"I'm tied up here. I can't leave. I wish I could lift this place up and leave but I can't. My hands are tied," Gromitsaris said. "I'm trying to stay in business but I cannot stay in business to people who walk out and not pay the bills."
Gromitsaris said he has no problem providing a free meal to someone who asks. He has donated food to police, hospitals, nursing home and charitable organizations.
An investigation by Ewing police into both incidents is ongoing. Anyone with information about either incident should contact Ewing police at 609-882-1313.
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