Dim bulbs busted after leaving coat, cellphone behind in dine and dash

Two dim crooks that fled a San Mateo restaurant without paying left behind a jacket, paperwork and a cellphone that helped police track them down Saturday night.

The dine-and-dash occurred at the Outback Steakhouse in the Hillsdale Shopping Center around 10:13 p.m., San Mateo police Sgt. Dave Norris said.

One of the meatheads attempted to assault an employee who tried to stop them from leaving without paying, Norris said. While the crooks successfully fled the area, the evidence they left behind in the restaurant tipped off police to their whereabouts.

Also, a witness snapped a photo of their getaway car, a silver Honda that had been reported stolen out of San Francisco, Norris said.

Police arrested the suspects at a residence in the 1900 block of El Camino Real, which is a few minutes drive down the street from the restaurant. Police found evidence in the home linking the suspects not only to the robbery, but to other criminal activity.

The suspects were identified Monday as Maria Preciado, 18, of San Mateo, and Edgardo Castillo, 26, of San Francisco.

Castillo, a parolee with an outstanding warrant, was booked into county jail on charges of robbery, conspiracy, possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of a car theft tool — a modified vehicle key, Norris said.

Preciado was booked for robbery, conspiracy, and possession of a stolen vehicle.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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