'Instant Karma,' Eatery Owner Foil Couple on Minneapolis Dine-and-Dash Spree

The owner of the high-end Temple Restaurant was fuming when a couple ran out on a $410 bill after spending five hours over several appetizers, two entrees of freshwater prawns, a steak and plenty of cocktails.

"I was thinking, I hope to God I see these people again," said owner Thom Pham.

Three hours later, he got his wish.

He walked into Azia, another upscale eatery he owns, and found the pair finishing off some expensive drinks after a second dinner that included a rack of lamb.

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"I thought, 'Oh my God, I can't believe my wishes are so powerful,"' Pham said.

When the couple tried to flee, Pham, a former judo instructor, chased Reginald Wilder into an alley, forced him to the ground and held him until police arrived. Lance Burrow was arrested a half block away.

According to a police report, Burrow was dressed as a woman and wearing a wig.

"They were clearly either very dedicated fans of Mr. Pham's restaurants, or they were incredibly unlucky," said Lt. Amelia Huffman, a spokeswoman for the Minneapolis Police Department.

"I call it 'instant karma,'" said Pham.

Burrow, 20, is scheduled to make a court appearance July 25.

Wilder, 43, pleaded guilty and was required to make restitution of $705.86. In addition to a 17-month prison sentence, which was stayed, he also was ordered to serve 150 days in the Hennepin County workhouse. But he did not show up on July 2 as scheduled, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

The twosome were brazen in the June 17 incident. When they left Temple, they took their cocktails, glassware and all.

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