Nicole Leszczynski who is 30 weeks pregnant went shopping at her local Safeway and picked up a sandwich to eat while shopping. She saved the wrapper but forgot to show it at the checkout counter, according to CBS news.
She and her husband were handcuffed, searched and released on $50 bail, but the worst part is the authorities took her 2 year old daughter away from them for the night, and placed her in state custody. This ignited outrage by the community forcing Safeway to review the incident. The child was returned to parents 18 hours later.
"That's kind of harsh to go to jail and have your daughter removed from your care for something like this," Nicole told CBS affiliate KGMB.
"It was the most ridiculous chain of events that happened," Leszczynski said while sobbing. "It's still hard to believe what happened."
How many times have any of you picked up something to eat while shopping and either forgot to pay or remembered at the last minute? I can say it has happened to me probably countless others.
Was Safeway overzealous in this case? Were the authorities acting appropriately in removing the child from the parent’s custody?
Before you exact judgment, Safeway did the right thing. In a statement, Safeway said it's committed to serving families, but "it appears we may not have handled this matter in the best possible way," KGMB reported.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Safeway president of Northern California operations Karl Shroeder called Nicole and apologized.
The couple was initially charged with fourth-degree theft, a petty misdemeanor, according to the city prosecutor's office. However, Safeway now says it will not press charges.
Still, the trauma of the incident must have been stressful for this family.