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Athens woman arrested after dispute over food order turns into a robbery

Jonya Lafae Jennings

By Joe Johnson

An Athens woman was arrested Wednesday night after an argument over a food order turned into an altercation and robbery, according to an Athens-Clarke County police report.

Jonya Lafae Jennings, 27, of East Paces Drive was at American Deli on Gaines School Road with her juvenile sons shortly after 8:30 p.m. when she complained she did not receive the food she had ordered, according to the report.

The manager reportedly told Jennings he could not fix her order because the woman verified the order was correct when it was presented to her, according to the report.

The woman then went to a restricted area of the restaurant where she tried to remove money from an open cash register, but an employee was able to shut the register’s drawer before Jennings could take any money. 

She then grabbed a tip jar and took an undisclosed amount of money from it, according to the police report, and when employees tried to prevent Jennings from leaving her sons allegedly began fighting them, one of whom reportedly punched the manager in the back of his head.

After leaving the store, Jennings drove away in car, from which the manager obtained a description and partial license plate number that enabled police to learn her address, according to the report.

Officers went to Jennings’ residence on East Paces Drive but were unable to locate her.

The police report noted that Jennins called police at about 10 p.m., saying that she was willing to talk about the incident, and after being interviewed by a detective, Jennings was arrested and charged with robbery.

Jennings was released from the county jail Thursday afternoon, upon posting a $1,000 good security bond, according to the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office.

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