SOUTH BRUNSWICK — Police are looking for a Florida man who stiffed several restaurants by ordering pizzas — saying that they were to be delivered to law enforcement and hospitals — but never paying for them.

Authorities said they also are considering whether to charge the man with a hate crime because in subsequent calls to the pizzerias he made "statements about Italians and wished they would be afflicted with coronavirus," police said Friday.

More than a dozen restaurants in South Brunswick, Montgomery, Plainsboro and West Windsor lost several thousand dollars.

Police said Sudeep Khetani, 34, who has been charged with theft, used a service to hide his real number.

Investigators believe Khetani is in Orlando where was on probation for selling fake Disney World tickets.

The South Brunswick restaurants hit were Kendall Park Pizzeria, Capriccio Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant, Pizza Delizia Restaurant, Giuseppe Pizzeria and Restaurant, and Pierre's Deli, according to police.

Police said Khetan told one restaurant his order was for South Brunswick police.

South Brunswick police officer with a donated pizza (South Brunswick police)

Socials media is filled with pictures of law enforcement enjoying donated food, which South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka said is much appreciated.

"Our businesses are all struggling and every dollar matters. I will not tolerate someone trying to take advantage of our community in these difficult days. I will pursue the strongest of charges and make sure our businesses get their money back," Hayducka said.

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Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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