Landlord Steals From Restaurant That Allows Customers To Choose The Price Of Their Meals

| by Tony Tran
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A restaurant may have put their trust in the wrong person.

Dana Parris, owner of the Just Cookin' restaurant in Dallas, North Carolina, made national news a while back for her diner's business model: rather than charge customers a fixed price for their meals, she allows them to pay whatever amount they thought was fair. 

Police have recently arrested her former landlord, Michael Lamar Cloninger, with six felony chargers of breaking and entering as well as larceny. 

The trouble started soon after she opened the restaurant back in January 2013, which is when she began to notice that food and supplies were disappearing, according to the Gaston Gazette

To combat this, she decided to install surveillance cameras and discovered that her landlord was the one stealing the food. After hiring an attorney to settle the issue in a quiet manner proved fruitless, Parris took the matter to the Gaston County Police Department.

According to police reports, Clonginger entered the restaurant several times, stealing food and other supplies between Nov. 27, 2014 and Dec. 26, 2014. 

On one day, he stole over $50 worth of sliced ham and ice cream. 

Cloninger works as an teacher and chairman for the automotive systems technology program at the local Gaston College as well as a church deacon. He has declined to comment on the charges brought against him.

He was released on an unsecured bond after being arrested on Saturday.

National news syndicates picked up Parris’s story of her faith-based restaurant and she even had the chance to tell her story on Fox News in October. 

She would accept any amount of money offered for the meal, no matter how much the meal was actually worth. 

Many of her customers would often pay more than the meal was worth. 

However, due to the missing food and the issue with her landlord, Parris told reporters that she could no longer continue operations within the building. 

Parris closed down her restaurant earlier last month, but despite this all she has remained optimistic, turning to faith to keep her going. 

“Nothing in the Bible says everything is going to be good,” she told reporters. “God will take care of it. I’m not going to worry about it.”

Source: The Gaston Gazette Photo Credit: Gaston Gazette