This story made my mouth fall open. The reaction of a Honolulu Safeway grocery store and the police regarding a couple ‘stealing’ two sandwiches is outrageous!
Nicole and Marcin Leszczynski were shopping in Safeway with their two-year-old daughter. Nicole Leszczynski, who is 30-weeks pregnant, was beginning the feel faint and ate a sandwich from the store while shopping. I can relate to this because I have had moments when my “sugar crashed” while shopping and had to eat something before I paid for it – and I wasn’t pregnant. It happens.
The couple paid for $50 of groceries but forgot to pay for two sandwiches that together cost $5. They were stopped by security and Nicole admitted her mistake/oversight and immediately offered to pay the $5 with cash. “It was a complete distraction, distracted-parent moment,” Nicole told local TV station KOHN. I think most parents can relate to being distracted while shopping with children. I felt distracted in my moments of low blood sugar, even after eating something small to hold me over, and I was without children.
Shockingly, store management wouldn’t accept the woman’s reasonable offer/explanation and immediately called police. The police arrested the couple for fourth degree theft and took their daughter. Their daughter was placed in Child Protective Service custody for 18 hours after the incident. Can you imagine how traumatized this child must feel?
The couple were handcuffed and driven separately to police headquarters a few blocks away, where they were searched, had their mug shots taken, and then released after paying bail.
Seriously, does this qualify as a case of retail ‘theft?’ Why would you pay for your groceries, yet steal two sandwiches? Why not eat a full meal, including a beverage to wash down those sandwiches, if your goal is to get free food while shopping?
Safeway said, in a statement to KOHN, “It appears we may not have handled this matter in the best possible way and we are taking the situation seriously.” At least Safeway representatives were reasonable, owned up to the fact that the situation was mishandled and dropped the charges against the couple.
Susan Houghton, a spokeswoman for California-based Safeway, said on November 1, the company would review the police report and store security footage before deciding whether to press charges. Since her comment, the charges were dropped.
Please send your comments. Do you think this matter could have been handled differently? Did this couple deserve to be arrested and have their daughter placed in Child Protective Service custody?
Excerpts for this story were taken by JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER of the Associated Press
Read complete story@ msnbc