Back to: Investigates
November 29, 2017 10:02 PM

Pizza Ranch Says It Was Served The 'Zimmer Experience'

By Angela Kennecke

Sioux Falls

Another Sioux Falls restaurant says it got the "Zimmer Experience" and has the surveillance video to prove it. 

Our most-watched investigation into the "Zimmer Experience" showed you how the couple had trashed rental homes from South Dakota to Florida.  They've been court ordered to pay a Sioux Falls landlord back $2400.  We checked, but the landlord says he hasn't seen a dime.

Meanwhile George and Jennifer Zimmer most recently plead guilty to insurance fraud.  The St. Francis House told KELOLAND Investigates they even defrauded the homeless shelter. 

Then just last month, Johnny Carino's contacted us to tell us they were the target of a scam by George Zimmer to get free food. 

Now another restaurant says Jennifer Zimmer paid them an unwelcome visit. 

KELOLAND's Angela Kennecke picks up the story from there.

Currently there are two warrants out for Jennifer Zimmer's arrest.  Zimmer is accused of violating her probation for insurance fraud by stealing three "Life Waters" from the Cubby's convenience store on West 12th street at the end of June. The store caught the theft on surveillance video

The Pizza Ranch at 41st and Kiwanis says they also have surveillance video of Jennifer Zimmer in action.  

“We unlock our doors at 10 a.m.  Jennifer came in. We actually didn't have a counter person up front at the time," Pizza Ranch co-owner Michael Pharis said.

The woman, who has a small child with her, quickly makes her way behind the reception desk and rifles through it.  She goes back to the child, looks around and heads directly back to the desk, where she rummages around some more. Then she grabs the child and makes a speedy exit. 

“Luckily we do have a security monitor in the back too--so we actually had two of our employees watch the whole thing happen and we were able to go back and look at that security tape and sure enough saw it on there," Pharis said.

One of those employees was Courtney Nelson.

“As soon as we noticed she was back there--she was gone," Nelson said.

They realized she got away with free buffet gift cards and called police.

Before police even had a chance to get here to take the report, an hour later the woman returned with more children to use the cards for the buffet. 

"That's when I came out and confronted her and said we did catch her on the security tape. It was pretty clear it was her. She was wearing the same Cubs sweatshirt," Pharis said.

That's when Pharis says both he and Nelson recognized the woman to be Jennifer Zimmer from our KELOLAND News investigation.

“When she came in again, I was like that was definitely who it was because I was the one who helped her at the counter," Nelson said.

Once confronted, Pharis says she denied taking the cards, but then returned eight of them.

“She definitely knew she was caught," Nelson said.

“We've kind of trained all our management staff--we've shown them all the videos so they know what both of the Zimmers look like. We've already said we won't serve these people," Pharis said.

Pharis says because she returned the cards, he didn't end up filing any charges. 

In addition to the theft charge from Cubby's, Jennifer Zimmer has violated terms of her probation on insurance fraud by failing to make monthly $200 restitution payments and quitting her job.  She faces up to three years in prison. 

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