At that time, the restaurant owner reported receiving multiple calls over a period of months in which the caller had requested a refund for food that had been paid for but not eaten, said Sgt. Bruce Morningstar.
The caller claimed to have visited the restaurant with, depending on the particular story being provided, between 4-8 companions and reported leaving the restaurant abruptly due to a medical emergency involving a family member.
There have been variations to the nature of the medical emergencies – including heart attack, stroke, and asthma attacks – and which member of the family the medical emergency involved, but the overall theme of the calls has remained consistent.
The restaurant has continued to receive calls of this nature every few months, with the most recent call being received in the past few days. In the most recent call, the caller reported a child suffered an asthma attack prior to the family being able to eat. The caller requested a refund for a family of four.
At this time, police are working with the restaurant owner to research whether the most recent call is legitimate or part of an ongoing scam targeting restaurants in the area.
Police are checking with local dining establishments to determine whether they have received calls of a similar nature and whether they have provided any money in response to requested refunds in these situations.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Fruitport Township Police at 231-865-8477, or Silent Observer at 231-72-CRIME.
The name of the involved restaurant is not being released.