'Scammers' targeting Brisbane cafes and restaurants

CCTV footage of a bystander watching a group of women in Fortitude Valley last week who are allegedly scamming Brisbane restaurant and bars. Photo: 7 News Brisbane. Courtesy: Brisbane Times

A Spring Hill coffee shop manager claims his store was scammed by the same group of women who claimed they found glass in their food at a Fortitude Valley restaurant last week. 

The Small Coffee Co. manager said four or five women, along with their children, had come into the Turbot Street store last Thursday and ordered sandwiches. 

When he asked them for payment, he was told they had been given the wrong food the day before and wanted the meals for free.

The manager, who did not want to be named, said he had been working that day and had not seen them come in.

“They started getting aggressive and so then I eventually just gave them three of the sandwiches that they said they ordered and then they asked for another one,” he said.

“(They) started pulling apart food on the counter and was asking me why it looked a certain way and so they made a huge mess.

“Then they went in and out of the shop smoking and that sort of stuff.”

He said he let them have the sandwiches for free, which cost the cafe $20, to get them out of the shop.

“I was just more worried about other people and how they were treating the people around them,” he said.

The manager said he knew it was the same women who claimed they found glass in their meals at Bird’s Nest Restaurant in Fortitude Valley last Monday after someone posted an image of the women to the restaurant’s Facebook page.

“(It) was the same people in the photo that came into the cafe,” he said.

“I just hope no-one else goes through it.”

He did not report the incident to police.

The women have been variously described as having Irish or Geordie accents.

Police said they had received “several reports” that were similar in nature across Brisbane and urged any possible victims to contact Policelink.

“Any business owners with patrons refusing to leave the premise or if they have safety concerns they should contact police immediately,” a spokesman said.

“We are looking at other possible similar offences of that same nature.”