FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News has learned that Fulton County school police have arrested a former cafeteria manager suspected of stealing hundreds of dollars every day for at least five years Channel 2 investigative reporter Richard Belcher says that the total amount of money stolen over a longer period could reach $1 million, based on information from arrest warrants. The alleged thefts took place at North Springs High School in north Fulton County.
Channel 2 Action News broke the story last spring, when a cafeteria worker told us her manager regularly ran a cash-only line for which there were no records. Now, police charge it was a long-running and extremely profitable theft scheme. A whistleblower provided video inside the North Springs cafeteria. There were four lines that each had a cash register to keep track of the money. Standing alone was a blue cart that sold a-la-carte items for cash and never had a register. Now, Belcher has learned that Fulton County school police obtained 10 arrest warrants for former cafeteria manager Brenda Watts. The warrants accuse Watts of stealing $500 a day from the cafeteria. Last spring, Belcher asked Beth Walsh, former cafeteria worker, how long the a la carte line had been running. “At least 15 years. Up to maybe 20,” Walsh said. The police charge that Watts stole $500 a day. That’s $2,500 a week, which is a staggering $90,000 in a school year. Over 15 years, that would be $1,350,000. According to the arrest warrants, Watts lives in a five-bedroom, 5,400
square-foot home in south DeKalb County. No one answered the door when Belcher stopped at the home for comment on this story. Moments later, a late model Mercedes pulled out of the garage and drove away from the home. Watts retired last June, the day after Channel 2 Action News aired the first story about North Springs. She’d been with the school system for 26 years.
2 things struck me with this story.
1. Holy fucking shit. That was my initial reaction. Stealing over 1 million dollars in cash over 15 years is unfathomable. Like the fact that she was able to get away with it for so long and reach such wild success is incomprehensible. How did no one ever say anything? How the fuck did a woman just stand there taking cash, giving out chocolate milk and dunkaroos and no one ever said a word? You’d think someone, somewhere along the line would be like, hmmmm, we seem to be running hundreds of thousands of dollars in the red, maybe someone is stealing ALL of our money, I wonder if we should investigate the lunch lady who lives in a fucking MANSION and has a snack line with no cash register. Nah, no way it could be her.
And 2. Here’s the crucial point. How the fuck did this lunch lady never say enough is enough? Like I would imagine after stealing I don’t know, 200,000 dollars I’d probably just quit my job and walk away free. Nope, lunch lady was trying to rob the entire US economy. If Channel 2 Action news had never shown up she would have been robbing people until the day she died. Unbelievable. One of the more shocking stories I’ve ever read. 1 million dollars on cheezits and shark bites. Only in America!
I literally gasped when I saw her house, that’s a lunch lady’s house. That wasn’t a red flag to anyone? Not a single person?