AUSTIN -- The Austin Fire Department needs help finding a man accused of impersonating a fire prevention inspector and stealing hundreds of dollars from restaurants in Austin and other parts of the U.S.
AFD said Monday that Michael Angelo Carrion, 47, is wanted for theft.
An arrest affidavit for Carrion states that just before 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 27, he entered the Wholly Cow Burgers restaurant at 619 Congress Avenue. He told employees that he worked for the company Fire Boss and informed the manager that he was there to perform an annual fire inspection. The manager allowed to him to inspect.
Surveillance cameras captured Carrion walking around the store for a few minutes. He then gave a hand-written bill for $198.25 to the manager with the words "City Fire Prevention" on it.
The manager told investigators that he called the restaurant's owner to ask if he should pay the bill. The owner got on the phone with Carrion and told him he wasn't using Fire Boss for inspections anymore.
The manager then said it appeared Carrion was still speaking on the phone when he had actually hung up on the owner. Carrion told the manager that the owner said to "go ahead and pay him the cash."
The manager gave Carrion the money and he left, just before the owner called back to say he was hung up on. The manager then called 911.
When investigators contacted Fire Boss they were told that the company didn't have an inspection scheduled for Wholly Cow Burgers that day, and they didn't recognize the man in the surveillance video.
Fire Boss officials said they received a call the same day from another Austin restaurant, Ruby Thai Kitchen. Restaurant managers said they had been inspected and wanted to know when Fire Boss was coming back with their ordered parts. Investigators saw their surveillance footage as well and confirmed that it was the same man from the other video.
Carrion allegedly convinced Ruby Thai to pay $576.80 after his inspection.
AFD says the Atlanta Police Department soon contacted them and said they had similar cases of theft in the area. Police identified Carrion as their suspect and gave authorities his mugshot. His photo matched the suspect in both Austin cases.
Carrion has outstanding warrants from several states for the same type of theft. If you have information on his whereabouts you are asked to call AFD at (512) 974-0240.