Cafeteria Crook: Lunch Lady Brenda Watts Steals $1 Million From High School Cafeteria

 @TreyeGreen t.green@ibtimes.com
on January 25 2014 5:46 PM
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Georgia local news station WSB-TV first reported on the Brenda Watts alleged thefts in June 2013 when another cafeteria worker reached out to the station about questionable financial management at the high school cafeteria. Reuters

Lunch trays weren't the only thing this cafeteria manager may have been lifting at a Georgia high school.

Retired cafeteria manager Brenda Watts has been arrested by Fulton County school police for a suspected theft of hundreds of dollars daily from North Springs High School's cafeteria. Authorities say the thefts occurred for at least five years. But WSB-TV reports that arrest warrants suggest that the total amount of money stolen could actually total over $1 million. Former North Springs cafeteria worker Beth Walsh supported this claim when the story first broke last spring, telling the local news station that Watts had been running a scheme for "at least 15 years. Up to maybe 20." Walsh was fired from her position at the school, but she says she doesn’t regret her decision to expose her ex-manager.

“You know, just, if you feel like something's going on, look into it. You could be wrong. But if you're right, you're doing the right thing,” said Walsh. 

According to police, the scheme is thought to have been long-running and a source of high profits for Watts. Fulton County school police obtained a total of 10 arrest warrants for Watts, says WSB-TV. In the warrants, Watts is accused of stealing $500 a day from the cafeteria, totaling about $2,500 a week and $90,000 each school year.

Watts retired in June 2013 from her position after 26 years with the school system. She left the position the day after WSB-TV ran its first story about the alleged thefts. The warrants claim that Watts lives in a five-bedroom, 5,400-square-foot home in DeKalb County.

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