Photo: alphabetjenn, Flickr
Police arrived at the Cape Girardeau, Mo., Sonic drive-in, about 115 miles south of Saint Louis, shortly before 2 a.m. on Thursday to discover 27-year-old Dennie L. Bratcher allegedly attempting to whip up a batch of meth in the restaurant, the Associated Press reports.
The shift manager, who lives in Cape Girardeau, has been charged with second-degree burglary and an attempt to manufacture a controlled substance.
"The health department is making them [Sonic employees] throw away everything from sugar packets and straws to food and making them thoroughly clean the facility," Cape Girardeau police Sgt. Jason Selzer told Slashfood on Friday.
Police said that Bratcher had worked the night shift and then came back after the restaurant had closed. Officers rushed to the scene when the burglar alarm was triggered and found the 27-year old inside, wearing his Sonic uniform.
"This is one of the most unusual places we've run into this," Cape Girardeau police spokesman Jason Selzer told television station KFVS.
Christi Woodworth, Sonic's director of external communications, told Slashfood that the department of health had closed the drive-in on Thursday, but that it was scheduled to reopen this afternoon. A Cape Girardeau Sonic employee confirmed that they reopened at 11:45 a.m. CST.
Two employees reached at the Sonic wouldn't comment to Slashfood about Bratcher or the arrest.
"The management of the drive-in is fully cooperating with the police investigation into this incident," Woodworth says. "Because this is a criminal matter, we are unable to discuss the situation to avoid possibly interfering with the ongoing police investigation. This is a very unpleasant situation and we regret the effect this may have had on our employees or our loyal customers."
Woodworth emphasized to that Bratcher was a shift manager -- not the general manager of the drive-in.
"He has worked for the drive-in for less than a year and his employment has been terminated," she said.
Police found chemicals used to make methamphetamine on the restaurant's floor, including lithium and Sudafed.
Bratcher is being held on $30,000 bail and has a previous criminal record, according to reports. He was convicted of felony burglary in 2000.
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