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Michigan boy, 6, spends $1k on Grubhub: ‘Doorbell just kept ringing, cars kept coming’

CHESTERFIELD TWP., MI – The doorbell just kept ringing and the cars just kept coming. A 6-year-old Michigan boy went on a wild $1,000-dollar spending spree – like he was on a game show – using his father’s Grubhub account, ordering large amounts of food from numerous area restaurants.

The food piled up quickly for Keith Stonehouse of Chesterfield Township in Metro Detroit on Saturday night while he was home alone with his son, Mason, with his wife, Kristin, away at the movies with some friends.

We’re talking five large orders of jumbo shrimp, salads, shawarma and chicken pita sandwiches, chili cheese fries, ice cream, grape leaves, rice … and that’s just some of what was delivered by one Grubhub driver after another.

“This was like something out of a “Saturday Night Live” skit,” Stonehouse, who says he still isn’t laughing, told MLive. “I was probably a 9.5 out of 10 anger while it was happening. The next day, I was at an eight and now I’m at about a three. I don’t really find it funny yet, but I can laugh with people a little bit. It’s a lot of money and it kind of came out of nowhere.”

Stonehouse says he let Mason use his cell phone to play a game for about a half hour before bed. He never thought he would instead click on the Grubhub app and order large amounts of food from one restaurant after another.

“He’s 6, so it doesn’t kind of sink in. It’s not like if our 13-year-old did this, then it would sink in to him,” added Stonehouse. “Trying to explain this to a 6-year-old, we told him we took money out of his piggy bank to pay for this bag of food and this one and so on. We could tell he was upset, but we don’t know if it has really sunk in. That’s the frustrating part.”

So much food had been ordered from so many different places, Chase Bank actually sent Stonehouse a fraud alert declining a $439 order from Happy’s Pizza. However, the $183 order of jumbo shrimp from the same restaurant did go through just fine and arrived at the house.

It took a few orders of food for Stonehouse to realize what was going on. Even after he put two and two together, there was nothing he could do to stop the orders from coming.

“I was putting Mason to bed and saw a car pull up and the doorbell rang with the driver dropping off a big bag of stuff. My wife owns “A Slice of Heaven Cakes” bakery and it was a big wedding weekend, so I thought it was just someone dropping off decorative stuff they used from her. But it was from Leo’s Coney Island. I said, ‘What the heck?’”

“The doorbell rang again and it kept happening. Car after car. Cars were pulling into the driveway while others were pulling out. I finally asked one of them what they were delivering. He said we ordered chicken shwarmas. I took the food and then it hit me. I looked at my phone with repeated messages that my food was getting ready, my food was being delivered. I looked at my bank account and it was getting drained.”

Stonehouse says there was nothing he could do to stop the orders. He says he called one restaurant, who told him he had to get ahold of Grubhub. Stonehouse says there was no way to do that which he could figure out, and no way to cancel the orders.

Just a fraction of the Grubhub food delivery bags 6-year old Mason, from Chesterfield Township, Michigan, purchased using his father’s Grubhub account. (Photo by Keith Stonehouse)

When it was all said and done, Stonehouse says most of the food went into the family’s refrigerators. The family has a few of them because of the bakery his wife owns. He says they also invited some neighbors over to eat some of the food.

“While all of the food was being delivered and I figured out what happened, I went to talk to Mason about what he did and this is the only part that makes me laugh. I was trying to explain to him that this wasn’t good and he puts his hand up and stops me and says “Dad, did the pepperoni pizzas come yet?” I had to walk out of the room. I didn’t know if I should get mad or laugh. I didn’t know what to do.”

Stonehouse says he’s heard of things like this happening to other parents, but not to this level. He recommends making sure you don’t have important apps readily available for your kids to click on when they’re using your phone. Maybe hide them. He also says he’s changing his password.

“I knew this could happen, but you just don’t think your kid is going to do something like this. He’s definitely smart enough, I just didn’t expect it.”

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