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Man faked seizures to get out of restaurant tabs

City prosecutors say that for three months, 43-year-old Andrew Palmer dined and drank at city restaurants but never paid a tab - by faking seizures.

Palmer, of the 500 block of South Broadway pleaded guilty to one count of theft scheme on Aug. 3 and received 18 months in jail, the maximum sentence.

Prosecutors say Palmer dined at restaurants including Capital Grille, Burke's Cafe, Ding How Restaurant, Maisy's Restaurant, and Borinken Bar and Restaurant between April 26 and July 21. In each case, he feigned a seizure requiring the presence of medical personnel.

We're working to get the court file to figure out just how investigators caught on to the scheme. But these were hardly Palmer's first offenses - in fact, I'm not sure I've seen a criminal record quite this long.

According to the Maryland judiciary case search web site, Palmer has been charged with theft or other crimes an astounding 89 times, with at least 34 convictions, in jurisdictions including Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Prince George's County, Anne Arundel and St. Mary's.

And among those charges is "eating in a public place without paying" and "refusing to pay taxi cab fare." Almost all of the cases were for theft under $100, and when convicted he received jail stints of 90 days. His most serious crimes were committed in the early 1990s, when he was convicted of arson and later was sentenced to five years for robbery in Anne Arundel County.

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