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Waffle House a Hotbed of Criminal Activity

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“Nobody ever robs restaurants. Why not?” asked Tim Roth’s character in Pulp Fiction. “Bars, liquor stores, gas stations. You get your head blown off sticking up one of them. Restaurants on the other hand, you catch with their pants down. They're not expecting to get robbed. Not as expectant anyway.”

You’d think, dare hope, that today, 17 years after the Quentin Tarantino film debuted, eating establishments would have fair warning that they were potential targets of criminal activity. Unfortunately, despite years of enduring pistol-toting patrons filling up on breakfast and then the register, the 1,600-store diner franchise Waffle House continues to get caught with its knickers around its ankles. This summer, in Georgia and Alabama, a string of 18 Waffle Houses were robbed at gunpoint over just a two-week period.

And they didn’t have the benefit of a Bible-spouting Samuel L. Jackson in the dining room to diffuse the situation.  

These incidents, while serious, are small hash browns compared to the most recent criminal activity brewing inside these chains. At the beginning of the month, a store location in Toccoa, Georgia was the meeting spot where a group of four elderly militiamen dubbed the “Waffle House Terrorists” hatched plans over their egg sandwiches to commit a series of domestic terror attacks. Using an online novel written by blogger and Fox News guest Mike Vanderboegh as their guide, the men planned to blow up government buildings in the Southeast using poisons including ricin and botulinium.

Also this month in felonious Waffle House news, a female fugitive on the run since 1995 was caught while eating at an Augusta, Georgia location and a robber implicated in the Halloween heist of a BB&T Bank dined and dashed at Marietta Waffle House before police got to the scene.

All of this Waffle House crime begs the question: Is there something in the coffee? Why don't you see this sort of thing at an IHOP or Jack in the Box?

Kelly Thrasher, a spokesperson for the restaurant, insists this type of activity isn’t Waffle House-specific but rather a problem endemic to the 24-hour diner industry. “It’s not that more of these stories happen at Waffle Houses," said Thrasher. “It’s just getting more attention when it happens at a Waffle House.”

It’s true. All you have to do is Google “Denny’s robbery” and you’ll come up with a handful of search results that tell of recent crime sprees from California to Oregon. But kudos to a Denny’s in Jacksonville, Florida that had its pants firmly around the waist when one of its waitresses foiled a robbery attempt just one week ago.

In that case, however, the suspect fled before she could be sent to the (ahem) "Grand Slammer."
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