Facebook captures ink 'dine and dasher'

22:56, Apr 02 2014
Southland Times photo
Queenstown Tattoos owner Deane Jones used social media to track down a customer from Invercargill who did a runner after getting a tattoo.

A Queenstown tattoo studio owner used social media to track the perpetrator of a tattoo "dine and dash" - an Invercargill man who did a runner without paying for his ink.

Queenstown Tattoo owner Deane Jones said the incident happened on March 22, when a group of five young men walked into his studio.

"One of them wanted a tattoo, so we got him in the chair," he said.

Jones was in the process of moving his premises from Beach St to Camp St, meaning his eftpos machine was not working.

"Queenstown people and people who are visiting are usually pretty trustworthy, so I said I was cool with him going down to a cashflow machine to get the $100 he owed me for the tatt, which was a nice little map of New Zealand," Jones said.

The man left with his friends, saying he'd be back, but didn't return.


Fast-forward one week and Jones was settled in his new premises and still fuming.

"What really got me mad was the fact that Titter, an amazing tattooist from Brazil had just started working here. The guy who did a runner was the second Kiwi he had tattooed, so it was not a great welcome for him. Plus it's the only case of a dine 'n dash done to a tattooist that I've ever heard of."

Urban Dictionary describes a "dine and dash" as "the action to go in a restaurant, order whatever you want, eat and then leave quick without paying".

Wikipedia defines it as "a form of theft by fraud," where the customer has no intent of paying.

Jones, with a suspicion the runner was from Invercargill, got to work on social media.

"I put up a post on the Queenstown Tattoos Facebook page, which over 1000 people viewed," he said. "Then I contacted Dirty South Car Club, an Invercargill-based Facebook group, to ask if I could put up a post about this guy.

"Within an hour 400 people had seen the post, and it had 100 comments - some not very nice ones about different ways of removing the tattoo if I caught up with him."

The tattoo dine and dasher then sent Jones a "friend" request, made various excuses for his actions, and has made arrangements to pay the money direct to Jones' bank account. 


The Southland Times