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Thread: Pregnant mom says sandwich arrest was 'horrifying'

  1. #1
    Gold Member gardenwitch's Avatar
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    Default Pregnant mom says sandwich arrest was 'horrifying'

    Pregnant mom says sandwich arrest was 'horrifying'



    HONOLULU (AP) Nicole Leszczynski couldn't imagine that two chicken salad sandwiches would land her and her husband in jail and her 2-year-old daughter in state custody. But it happened five days ago, when the 30-weeks-pregnant woman forgot to pay for her snack while grocery shopping.
    "It was the most ridiculous chain of events that happened," she said while sobbing Monday. "It's still hard to believe what happened."
    Leszczynski, 28, and her husband Marcin, 33, were handcuffed, searched then released on $50 bail each. Their ordeal at the police station lasted a few hours, but their daughter Zofia spent the night away from her parents in a case that has sparked nationwide outrage and forced the Safeway supermarket chain to review the incident.
    The family had moved to an apartment near downtown Honolulu from California two weeks ago. Still settling in, they ventured out Wednesday to stock up on groceries, took the bus, got lost, and ended up at a Safeway supermarket.
    Famished, the former Air Force staff sergeant picked up the two sandwiches that together cost $5. She openly munched on one while they shopped, saving the wrapper to be scanned at the register later.
    But they forgot to pay for the sandwiches as they checked out with about $50 worth of groceries.
    "When the security guard questioned us, I was really embarrassed, I was horrified," she said. They were led upstairs, where the couple expected to get a lecture, pay for the sandwiches, and be allowed on their way.
    But store managers wouldn't allow them to pay for the sandwiches, she said.
    "I asked to talk to a manager and he said it was against their policy to pay for items that left the store," she said. "The security guard said we were being charged with shoplifting."
    Four hours later, a police officer arrived and read them their rights. A woman from the state Child Welfare Services arrived to take Zofia away.
    The pregnant mother said she tried to keep her composure until Zofia, who turns 3 in December, left the store. "I didn't want Zofia to be scared because she's never spent a night away from us. She didn't have her stuffed animal. She didn't have her toothbrush."
    But as soon as her daughter left, "I got completely hysterical. I went to the bathroom and I threw up," she recalled.
    A Honolulu police spokeswoman said it was procedure to call Child Welfare Services if a child is present when both parents are arrested. The store's management did not know the girl would be taken away, said Susan Houghton, a spokeswoman for California-based Safeway Inc.
    The national supermarket chain said it was looking into the incident. "It was never our intent to separate a mother from her child. That was a very unfortunate consequence to this situation," Houghton said. "We understand the outrage. We are concerned about how this was handled."
    Leszczynski called the incident "so horrifying, it seemed to escalate and no one could say, 'this is too much.'"
    The couple was 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. A police officer escorted them back to the store which banned them for a year, Leszczynski said where they picked up their groceries and walked home just before midnight.
    "We basically stared at each other all night. We woke up at the crack of dawn and called (the state child welfare office)," Leszczynski said. While they waited, Leszczynski vented about the experience on babycenter.com and contacted a lawyer for help with being reunited with Zofia. At the lawyer's suggestion, they took their story to the media.
    Zofia was returned after an 18-hour separation from her parents.
    The couple is charged with fourth-degree theft, a petty misdemeanor, and has a court date on Nov. 28, according to the city prosecutor's office. The family hasn't decided whether it will pursue legal action against Safeway.
    Houghton said the company will review the police report and store security footage before deciding whether to press charges.


    Pregnant mom says sandwich arrest was 'horrifying' - Yahoo! News




    WTF man. I sometimes open the bakery cookie box to give one to my 3 year old while we are shopping. I always make sure I have enough cash to cover it just in case something crazy goes wrong with my card when I'm trying to pay.
    But they forgot, and would pay for the food after they were told!! They bought $50 worth of groceries.....it's not like they walked in, walked around the store eating the food, then left.
    ~Madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little push.

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    Elite Member caramel's Avatar
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    this is such bullshit! even if you shoplift intentionally you get less shit than that!
    we don't have to make love to have an orgasm

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    I don't approve of the draconian punishment, but I think it's kind of presumptuous to eat the grocery store's stuff and then decide you will scan the wrapper and pay for it later.

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    Elite Member caramel's Avatar
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    ive seen a lot of people do that, especially with drinks.
    we don't have to make love to have an orgasm

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    Elite Member Mivvi21's Avatar
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    They weren't treated the best,but are they so hungry they could not wait until they at least left the store to eat their sandwiches?

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    Gold Member gardenwitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mivvi21 View Post
    They weren't treated the best,but are they so hungry they could not wait until they at least left the store to eat their sandwiches?
    I don't know...I mean it said they got lost and ended up at the store, who knows how long that ordeal lasted.
    She's 30 weeks pregnant.....It's lucky she only ate a sandwich.
    When I was pregnant, I wouldn't really eat that much during the day, but at night the hunger would hit me like a ton of bricks and I had to eat RIGHT THAT SECOND. Or I'd get nauseous, dizzy, and feel like total shit.
    ~Madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little push.

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    Gold Member VeraGemini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    I don't approve of the draconian punishment, but I think it's kind of presumptuous to eat the grocery store's stuff and then decide you will scan the wrapper and pay for it later.
    It's not uncommon, people do that ALL the time. Just like you see people going through the line with opened boxes of Kleenex, especially during allergy or cold season.

    This is going to cost Safeway so much more than just the $5 in legal fees and bad PR by the time it's over.

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    Elite Member southernbelle's Avatar
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    Store security guards can be completely overzealous. I remember one time my grandmother was shopping at Wal-Mart and the siren accidentally went off while she walked through the exit. The guards proceeded to completely humiliate her and accuse her of shoplifting. They made her empty her bags, searched her purse, insinuated that she had taken something and "not remembered" etc. It turned out that the clerk had simply forgotten to remove an inventory tag on an item she had purchased.

    Safeway totally mishandled this situation. The fact that she saved the wrappers indicates she intended to pay for the sandwiches. They should have discretely taken her aside and accepted payment for the sandwiches and been done with it.

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    Elite Member Lalique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    I don't approve of the draconian punishment, but I think it's kind of presumptuous to eat the grocery store's stuff and then decide you will scan the wrapper and pay for it later.
    Yep, I agree. I also don't like it when people stand around the fruit section and eat a pound of grapes.

    ETA: Zofia? really? Is 'Z' the new 'Y'?
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    Gold Member gardenwitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by southernbelle View Post
    Store security guards can be completely overzealous. I remember one time my grandmother was shopping at Wal-Mart and the siren accidentally went off while she walked through the exit. The guards proceeded to completely humiliate her and accuse her of shoplifting. They made her empty her bags, searched her purse, insinuated that she had taken something and "not remembered" etc. It turned out that the clerk had simply forgotten to remove an inventory tag on an item she had purchased.

    Safeway totally mishandled this situation. The fact that she saved the wrappers indicates she intended to pay for the sandwiches. They should have discretely taken her aside and accepted payment for the sandwiches and been done with it.
    Your poor grandmother!!!! I hope she called their corporate office and complained!!!
    Fine, the stupid thing beeped as she was leaving, big deal. I see it happen all the time. But to treat her like that?!?! WOW.
    Check the receipt, and check the items with those tags FIRST to see if they forgot to deactivate them.

    I'm sorry she had to go through that


    And your right about the wrapper....If someone was trying to steal it, they would of gotten rid of the wrapper right away.
    ~Madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little push.

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VeraGemini View Post
    It's not uncommon, people do that ALL the time. Just like you see people going through the line with opened boxes of Kleenex, especially during allergy or cold season.
    Quote Originally Posted by caramel View Post
    ive seen a lot of people do that, especially with drinks.
    I don't see much of this at all out here. From the store's standpoint, it seems like it would be a real problem. It seems like it's a lot easier to monitor people leaving the store with unpaid-for, but unconsumed, items than it would be to monitor whether people who decided to eat like 4 or 5 different things bother to scan their wrappers.

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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    Talk about overkill. If the store wanted to prosecute, fine, but there are ways to do it that don't involve treating people like they're charged with a violent felony. And hauling the parents away and sending the kid to foster care overnight over a damn misdemeanor is ridiculous.

    If people utilized some common sense every now and then the world would be a much different place.

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    Elite Member Trixie's Avatar
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    I dunno, I guess I'm the only person who isn't totally buying their story. How do you eat a sandwich, save the wrapper and then "forget" to pay for it? And where was the second sandwich they also "forgot" to pay for? In her purse?

    Not saying the punishment fit the crime, but maybe they just figured they'd get away with it, and if they didn't, the store wouldn't make such a big deal. Kinda like Pippin with the beer she "forgot" to pay for, lol.
    These people don't give a fuck about YOU or us. It's a message board, for Christ's sake. ~ mrs.v ~
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    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VeraGemini View Post
    It's not uncommon, people do that ALL the time. Just like you see people going through the line with opened boxes of Kleenex, especially during allergy or cold season.

    This is going to cost Safeway so much more than just the $5 in legal fees and bad PR by the time it's over.
    That's something I do all the damn time! If I forget to bring a tissue into the store, I'm not wiping snot on my shirt and that's what I tell them when they ring up my open box of tissues. Always some dipshit is going to ask (as she rings it up) "Did you know these were open?" I respond "Sure did, it was either that or blow my nose on my shirt and I'm trying to quit that." I feed my son, my nieces, my nephews from boxes that I'm buying too. Guess what, I'm paying for it and I'll (or my kiddos) will consume it when we please. I don't let the kids eat fruit or anything like that because that can't be rung up once they've eaten it. I've never once forgotten to pay for any of those items and the only time I get stopped and checked out is when the alarm goes off because someone didn't properly scan a movie or a cd or something like that.
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    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    I will eat stuff before paying but not something like a sandwich. It is usually crackers or something from a box and I leave it out in the open.

    This case was seriously mishandled.
    You don't engage with crazies. Because they're, you know, fucking crazy. - WitchCurlGirl

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