They're iconic institutions.
And across the metro area, it’s not hard to find a Waffle House on almost every corner.
But they're also the site of countless violent crimes.
If it seems like you hear about a violent crime at Waffle Houses a lot, it’s because there is a lot of crime that happens at our favorite 24-hour restaurant.
11Alive’s Ryan Kruger has personally covered two different robbery crews that terrorized Waffle Houses across the metro.
Two would-be robbers walked into a waffle house in Cherokee County, and right as they pull out their weapons to rob the place, a customer pulls out his gun and fires back. But the same crew ended up robbing several more restaurants.
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Other locations have been hit more recently, too. Like this past week when a man wearing an angry clown mask robbed this restaurant by the Georgia Tech campus.
It begs the question: Should waffle house stop staying open 24 hours a day to make the restaurant safer?
11Alive poured through past police reports available on waffle house robberies in the metro-area and found the majority of them happened overnight.
Is that a coincidence or a cause?
Rodney Smith is a former police officer and security consultant.
“Twenty-four hours a day, 7 days a week – the later in the night, the more chances of something happening,” he explained. “Your staff is low. There aren't a whole lot of folks coming in, not a lot of eyes. (It’s a) Prime suspect for crime.”
But waffle house defends their security practices. In a statement, a spokesman said:
“The safety of our customers and associates is very important to us. We have many safety protocols in place in our restaurants as part of our commitment to doing all we can to ensure that our customers have a great experience. We are continually reviewing our security protocols and will make enhancements to better the experience of our customers and associates.”
So, don't count on Waffle House to change their hours. But security experts do remind you to keep an eye out when you're dining late.