Police in New Jersey are looking for five people who they say abducted and assaulted a waitress who chased after them over an unpaid $70 bill, authorities said.
The group ran out on the bill at a restaurant in Gloucester County south of Philadelphia around 11:15 p.m. Saturday, Washington Township police said.
“The vehicle’s running, the headlights are on, and they’re ready to flee the area, the back door’s open,” Police Chief Patrick Gurcsik told NBC Philadelphia. “And at that point, there’s some sort of confrontation at the vehicle and our victim ends up inside the vehicle.”
The waitress was left by the side of a state highway. She suffered bruising to her face and neck and a possible concussion, Gurcsik told the station.
The waitress, who is 20, did not have her cellphone with her.
Gurcsik called it a brazen abduction, robbery and potential kidnapping.
Police released photos of three men and two women wanted for questioning and say they were in a white Dodge Durango. The incident was captured on surveillance video from outside the restaurant.
The restaurant, Nifty Fifty’s, said in a statement that the safety of its staff is the company’s top priority.
“We value our employees and want them to know that no amount of money is worth their lives, nor is it their responsibility. We are sending thoughts and prayers to our employee for a speedy recovery,” the restaurant said.
Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.