Hawaii Grocery Store, Police Goes Overboard in Handling 'Theft' of $5 Sandwich

Common sense goes a long way in dealing with retail theft. But that was apparently lost on a Honolulu grocery store and local police after a couple was arrested for 'stealing' a $5 sandwich last week.

And along with being arrested, Nicole and Marcin’s Leszczynsk's 3-year-old daughter, who was with them during the shopping trip, was put into Child Protective Service custody for 18 hours after the incident.

The situation started when the family walked to the Safeway grocery store from their home. Nicole Leszczynsk, who is 30-weeks pregnant, was beginning the feel faint and ate a sandwich from the store while shopping.

After paying for $50 of groceries, the couple forgot to pay for the sandwich. When stopped by security, Nicole owned up to the mistake and offered to immediately pay the $5 with cash on hand.

"It was a complete distraction, distracted-parent moment," Nicole told local TV station KOHN

But the reasonable offer to pay apparently wasn't enough for store management, who immediately called police, who arrested the couple for fourth degree theft and took their daughter.

For its part, Safeway apparently has decided they didn't handle the situation responsibly

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."

So what do you think? Was there some other way for the store and police to handle the situation instead of arresting the couple and putting their daughter in state custody for 18 hours for what was an obvious mistake?

Posted by Brent Dirks on Nov 01, 2011

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