A Florida man is being accused of costing several pizza restaurants thousands of dollars by placing large orders over the phone and never picking up the orders.
Police say that over the course of a month, 34-year-old Sudeep Khetani targeted restaurants in three counties in New Jersey by placing large orders and reporting that they were going to be donated to police departments.
He then would not show up to pick up the orders leaving the pizzieras with a surplus of cooked food. When the restaurants contacted Khetani about the orders, he would make insensitive comments about Italians or say that he wished they were infected with the coronavirus.
Authorities say Khetani reportedly used a service to mask his real number, however, investigators were able to track him down in the Orlando, Florida area where he is currently on probation for selling fake Disney tickets.
He has since been charged with theft but authorities say they are also looking into whether the crimes were “bias in nature” and whether Ketani’s actions could constitute as a cyber harassment charges.
Since the story’s release, several of the pizzerias have either donated the food themselves or residents have stepped up to pay for the food and donated it to hospitals and first responders.