A man who couldn't pay his bill at a North Vancouver restaurant told staff he was going to rob a nearby gas station to get the cash — then was arrested after doing the deed and returning to settle his tab.

North Vancouver RCMP said a man racked up a $38 bill at the Browns Social House restaurant Friday night and tried to leave without paying.

When approached by the staff as he tried to exit, the man said they should call the police because he was going to rob a nearby gas station to get the cash, Cpl. Richard De Jong said Monday in a release.

De Jong said that moments later the North Vancouver RCMP received a hold-up alarm from the neighbouring Esso gas station where the attendant said a man held a screwdriver to his neck and robbed the till.

The man then returned to the restaurant and paid his bill and police arrived moments later, placing him under arrest.

A 21-year-old Surrey man has been charged with robbery, fraudulently obtaining food and beverage, and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

There were no injuries in any of the incidents, said De Jong.