Sioux Falls, SD
Who can forget George and Jennifer Zimmer, the couple with seven children who trashed rental homes from Florida to South Dakota? There's even a website dedicated to them started by a landlord to warn other landlords, called "The Zimmer Experience."
Not only did the Zimmers trash rental homes, they also had rap sheets pages long.
George and Jennifer Zimmer most recently plead guilty to insurance fraud. The St. Francis House told KELOLAND Investigates they even defrauded the homeless shelter.
Now, a Sioux Falls restaurant alleges it was the target of a scam perpetrated by George Zimmer to get free food.
When KELOLAND Investigates confronted George and Jennifer Zimmer over past problems, they became very aggressive.
Now, a Sioux Falls restaurant says it's gotten a taste of the "Zimmer Experience."
"And they said, 'If you don't give us a free meal, we're going to plaster it all over Facebook,'" Johnny Carino's Area Manager Darren Newborg said.
The Zimmers called up Johnny Carino's demanding a free meal, claiming they had bad service. George Zimmer told the area manager this:
"'So what I did was I just left my phone number on the receipt to have a manager call me.' And right then I was like, 'Okay, this is super fishy,'" Newborg said.
When the Zimmers showed up at the restaurant in person, expecting to pick up a free meal to go, an employee asked him to produce a receipt for his earlier meal.
"And George got out of the car, he's a pretty big guy and that's when I went out and someone said, 'I think that's George Zimmer!' And I looked it up on my phone and went out there and said, 'Is this you right here?' He said, 'Yeah, why?' And I go, 'You’re trying to steal from us. You either leave right now and I'm calling the cops,'" Newborg said.
Newborg said if it hadn't been for our KELOLAND News investigation he wouldn't have known who he was dealing with.
"And once I said, 'Is this you?' You could see the whole demeanor in his face--’Oh, we need to get out of here,’” Newborg said.
Newborg believes this is something the Zimmers have a lot of practice at and he hopes to warn other businesses in town to be on the lookout for them.
"We all work hard to make a living for our family and these people are totally taking advantage of it. And they're getting away with it. And they know that---they're predators for sure," Newborg said.
Johnny Carino's now keeps a picture of the Zimmers on the hostess stand iPad in case they target the restaurant again.
In April, Jennifer Zimmer pleaded guilty to insurance fraud and spent 60 days in jail. She was arrested again a couple of weeks ago and spent two days in jail on petty theft charges.
George Zimmer will be sentenced in November for insurance fraud.
A Follow Up To The Zimmer Experience
Zimmer Experience Will Avoid Prison Time, Receives Jail Time
Zimmers Have Long-Time Troubled History In Community
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