I have read conflicting information about police in the United States arresting people for not paying a bill from a retail vendor, like a taxi driver, auto mechanic or restaurant.
On one hand my understanding is that in all states if you owe money to a vendor, then they have to sue you to collect it. It would seem unlikely to me that a vendor's complaint that you did not pay them would constitute the basis for a criminal arrest. For what?
On the other hand I keep reading what are essentially rumors on the internet that the police can and will arrest you if a store keeper or other vendor complains that you have not paid them AFTER THE FACT. For example, I read one case where a guy left an auto mechanic's shop after the mechanic tried to add an unapproved "diagnostic" charge to a bill and later he got a phone call from the police who threatened to arrest him if he did not go back to the shop and pay the mechanic the disputed charge. Allegedly the cop told him, "You have to pay him or I will arrest you. You can sue him later if you want to." I have read similar things where it is claimed if you leave a cab and do not pay, the driver can chase after you and if he can somehow find you, then he can have you arrested.
So, what is the reality here? Does this even happen and what are the laws involved here? I mean I guess if I could get somebody arrested by just saying to the police that they owed me money, there are a lot of people I could get arrested.
UPDATE: I think Frederick's comment is very relevant in that the complex question seems to be whether there is "intent" to defraud, in other words, did the customer set out to obtain the services with no intention of paying in the beginning, or did they later refuse or fail to pay for some reason that had no relation to their original intent. So, there seems to be a psychological aspect to the problem.