"Extra sugar" took on a new meaning at Dunkin' Donuts when a cashier converted a Rockaway, N.J., branch of the national chain into a veritable red light district, police say. Melissa Redmond, 29, allegedly was using her night shifts to offer the coffee shop's customers her services as a prostitute on the side.
Redmond was nabbed Monday in what was known as "Operation Extra Sugar," according to a report in the Daily Record of Parsipanny. The incident took place at a branch of Dunkin' Donuts located just off Route 46 in northern New Jersey, some 20 minutes outside of New York City.
"I had gotten an anonymous tip," Detective Sgt. Kyle Schwarzmann told The Press. "She was a night-time employee, supposedly a very good one." (The night shift runs from 9 p.m to 5 a.m.)
The tip, which was handed over to the police six weeks ago, set in motion your classic police sting. First, Schwarzmann parked on site, and noticed that Redmond was making visits to customers' cars. On average, the trips lasted 10 to 15 minutes, he said. Policemen also pretended to be prospective johns, in the market for Redmond's extra service.
Schwarzmann himself posed as a possible client, with Redmond offering at one point to lower her prices for him.
For the doughnut chain, the allegation that one of their stores served as one-woman brothel follows other recent embarrassing publicity. (It had no comment about the incident, when questioned by The Daily Record.) This past week also saw two Romanian nationals charged with stealing more than $17,000 from a Hollis, Queens, branch of Chase bank, according to a report in The New York Times. Their weapon of choice? Dunkin' Donuts gift cards that they were able to re-encode so as to trick the ATM machine.
The bad publicity, however, seems like a minor blip in the wake of brand's successful IPO. Dunkin' Donuts went public on July 27 with their stock valued at $19 a share. The price has already seen a 40 percent jump, with investors giddy over the chain's plans to expand throughout the West Coast and a record of competing successfully against Starbucks.
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