This is one of those horror stories that could happen to any of us, including the Safeway store manager who should have shown some measure of grace, but instead was instrumental in letting a 3-year-old girl, Sophia Leszcynski, be taken from her parents and sent to Child Protective Services in Honolulu.
Nicole Leszczynski and her husband March walked to a local Safeway. Mrs. Leszczynski is 30 weeks pregnant. She said she felt “faint, dizzy” once in the store decided to buy sandwiches and eat while they shopped.
In the checkout line, the family paid for groceries totaling $50.00, but forgot one $5.00 sandwich. Security stopped them as they exited the store and asked for the receipt. That’s when the unpaid sandwich was discovered. The Lesczynski’s tried to pay for the sandwich, but the store manager would have none of it. He told them they would be arrested and their daughter Zophia taken to Child Protective Services. The parents were jailed on charges of 4th degree theft. Zophia was returned after 18 hours. What a nightmare.
There is apparently nothing pointing to either Nicole or March stealing, or making a habit of keeping their coffers comfy with an extra $5.00. What was this manager thinking?
Recently I was in a Target Store. I went through the checkout and stopped to deposit my cart by the door when I realized there was a chocolate cake, unbagged, still in the cart. When I saw it, I knew I hadn’t paid for it. I walked the cake back to the cash register, got in line again, and paid for it. If my cart had been full of grocery bags, I could have missed it until I got to my car.
I’m behind retailers 100% when it comes to prosecuting theft, but I’ve been a retailer, and I wouldn’t think of having a child sent to Child Protective Services for a $5.00 sandwich, especially when the family wanted to make the reimbursement. Safeway thinks it inappropriate to comment. See a video interview here.