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Thread: Inadvertant mistake results in parents' arrest, 3-yr-old whisked away by CPS

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Inadvertant mistake results in parents' arrest, 3-yr-old whisked away by CPS

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    Dear Safeway:

    I just read about the way your Safeway and the Honolulu Police Department handled the inadvertent mistake made by Marcin and Nicole Leszczynski. Arrested? Four hour delay until the police showed up? Their 3-year-old child separated from their parents for the first time, and overnight, at that? Both the mother (pregnant) and the father (who was unaware of the event) were handcuffed and hauled away?

    You need not bother reviewing your store policy, as I've already reviewed my Safeway consumer policy, and have determined YOU ARE UNFIT to make a profit off my hard-earned money.

    In case you are unaware, we are humans, not machines. We sometimes make honest mistakes. Your reaction to their honest mistake, the trauma your idiot manager caused their family by failing to exercise sound judgement, is UNCONSCIONABLE.

    You banned them for a year, so I am boycotting Safeway for LIFE. I will reverse my policy only after you reverse yours AND give them free groceries for a month, along with an official and public apology for your heinous actions.

    Sincerely,
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

  2. #2
    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    If they saved the wrappers, then it's clear they intended to pay for it. No shoplifters ever keep the packaging, they throw it away. Often in the bathrooms, especially the women. As a manager this should have been obvious to them. I know this and I'm not a manager or security guard. There's no reason to press charges when they apologized and offered to pay. It might be company policy, but I can guarantee that they violate company policy all the time. Everyone does, even the most anal policy following employees will violate it.

    All they should have done is told them to be more careful and maybe to pay first. Then let them go.

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  3. #3
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    And we have another POSSIBLE example of a problem with a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY!

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  4. #4
    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
    And we have another POSSIBLE example of a problem with a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY!

    Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk
    How about a zero tolerance policy against morons? We could fabricate a drug that'll kill the user and market it as a magical new age intelligence boosting wonder drug. We can call it ZerTAM. ;P


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  5. #5
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    What seems to be missing is any evidence that they concealed the wrappers. Shoplifting laws there are explained here http://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com...alties-defense

    I'm all for prosecuting shoplifters, and I understand that when mommy and daddy go to jail someone has to take care of the kid(s). Being new to the state and with probably no close friends they could designate to care for the kid the decision to put the kid in temporary foster care seems obvious.

    The issue is going to be resolved first at the criminal trial - if it gets that far, and then in the civil suit they might file. In the meantime it does seem, from the little information provided, that the manager jumped the gun. Banning them from the store for a year seems to indicate he is POd but thinks they are not really "bad" folks. That could come back to bite his butt in a civil suit.

    But more importantly is the issue of a grocery store needing to have a security guard. Yes, they have every right to protect their property. But if your neighborhood grocery store needs a security guard you are probably living in the wrong neighborhood.

    stay safe.
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    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    He was probably undercover AP. Pretty much every retail store has them. Besides, maybe they sell Spanish Saffron by the ounce and require armed security to protect their lucrative spice, regardless of where they are.

    Who called the man a security guard? Was it the manager, the couple, the author or some other third party source?

    I hope you realize that shoplifters aren't necessarily restricted to the lower class. A lot of shoplifters are actually middle and upper class. They don't shoplift because they have a need, they do so for the thrill.

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  7. #7
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    Looks like the store kind of overreacted.

    Since9, where did you send your letter to? If an email address, can you post it. I looked at the Safeway web site and have located several means of contacting them, but if you've found something that goes to the "right" place, that would be great for those that want to communicate concerns. Otherwise, I'll post all of the contact info I have.
    Last edited by markand; 11-01-2011 at 12:29 PM.

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    That is ridiculous. What is more ridiculous is that in Hawaii you get arrested, taken to a police station, and have your child taken away for a 4th degree petty misdemeanor. What the heck do they do to you if you commit a felony?? A similar offense in Virginia would result in the police writing you a summons to appear in court.

    On another note...four hours for the police to respond? WTF?

    I just googled this story and it is everywhere. I would expect Safeway to be asking that the charges be dropped and offering a profound apology any day now.
    Last edited by thebigsd; 11-01-2011 at 03:30 PM.
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  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=thebigsd;1639550 What the heck do they do to you if you commit a felony?? A similar offense in Virginia would result in the police writing you a summons to appear in court. [/QUOTE]

    Well first they would taze you and yell stop resisting as you shook uncontrollably from the 'followed all proper procedures' shock therapy. That would be followed up with a few 'restraint' bruises about the face, head, and neck area along with the all to typical 'contempt of cop' charge....oh wait you said felony...yea that would probably be bad.

    Disclaimer for the uptight: that last statement was meant to be funny ha ha

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    I will say that I think the store/manager overreacted in this case but 4 hours for the police to respond is really what is completely out of line here. Shoplifting is one of those things that causes so many problems for stores as every time someone is caught they try to explain that they just forgot to pay and weren't stealing it. Even though the laws state that one does not have to exit the store to be charged we all know what would happen if one is arrested inside the store. As someone said earlier it is not restricted to any particular class of customer or store. I once had a store and watched as one woman stopped by the Christmas tree I had near the front and took several of the ornaments off the tree, placed them in her purse and walked out.

    The title of this thread is "inadvertant mistake" but how do we know that it was. As for saving the wrappers, yes a shoplifter knows to save the wrapper so that if they are caught they can claim a mistake. It may very well have just been a mistake on their part but just because they are a nice couple with a baby doesn't automatically make them innocent. But I still think it was handled badly, especially by the rapid response team from the police department.

  11. #11
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    PR disaster for Safeway. I can imagine that a LOT of people will stop shopping there. After all there are a LOT of grocery stores out there. The store has apparently apologized and offered to drop charges but the family has hired a lawyer.

    I don't believe that any shoplifter would buy $50 dollars worth of groceries, FWIW. As long as they have an otherwise clean record (i.e. no evidence of them doing this before), they deserve the bene of the doubt.

    I believe many stores won't do anything if the shoplifting was under a minimal amount due to the hassles and negative press.

    Hope they get a good settlement and an apology. ANYONE can make a mistake.

    edit to add, the police overreacted also as has been pointed out here - to be 'taken downtown' for a fourth degree MISDEMEANOR is outrageous. I think the police should have a suit filed against them also for deprivation of rights or something (IANAL).
    Last edited by Badger Johnson; 11-02-2011 at 10:02 AM.
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    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    You'd be wrong. Shoplifters do it all the time. Just last week someone got caught shoplifting from Walmart by hiding merchandise between 50lbs bags of dog food. Something that happens often.

    Last night about a dozen empty packages of shoplifted merchandise was found in the trashcan of the ladies restroom.

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  13. #13
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack House View Post
    You'd be wrong. Shoplifters do it all the time. Just last week someone got caught shoplifting from Walmart by hiding merchandise between 50lbs bags of dog food. Something that happens often.

    Last night about a dozen empty packages of shoplifted merchandise was found in the trashcan of the ladies restroom.

    Posted using my HTC Evo
    Might be a good idea to read the whole paragraph in which I say 'no evidence of them doing this before'. I'm well aware that people try to walk out with stuff in the bottom of their cart.
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  14. #14
    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    I don't believe that any shoplifter would buy $50 dollars worth of groceries, FWIW.
    I don't know what you think I was talking about, I was replying to that part of your post.

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack House View Post
    You'd be wrong. Shoplifters do it all the time. Just last week someone got caught shoplifting from Walmart by hiding merchandise between 50lbs bags of dog food. Something that happens often.

    Last night about a dozen empty packages of shoplifted merchandise was found in the trashcan of the ladies restroom.

    Posted using my HTC Evo
    Indeed. I have worked retail loss prevention. This does happen. Although in this case she still had the wrapper which to me seems like she had intent to buy. If she was going to steal, wouldn't she just ditch the wrapper? I personally have left a store with something in the bottom of the cart that was missed by me and the cashier, so that happens as well.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

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    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigsd View Post
    Indeed. I have worked retail loss prevention. This does happen. Although in this case she still had the wrapper which to me seems like she had intent to buy. If she was going to steal, wouldn't she just ditch the wrapper? I personally have left a store with something in the bottom of the cart that was missed by me and the cashier, so that happens as well.
    I agree, as I stated earlier female shoplifters will throw the packaging away in the women's restroom.

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    Regular Member 09jisaac's Avatar
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    Personally, If I was the manager and someone walked out with something as little as a sandwich I would have told them to make good on what they owed me and told them to never come back. I wouldn't have the fight for the $5 they were willing to give me.

    I can see it being an honest mistake. I've walked into gas stations and stuck gum in my back pocket before I realized it and almost have walked out without paying for it. Or I've walked out with a bottle of pop in my hand before. But I haven't, that I know of, taken something without paying for it. But in my opinion you don't forget to pay for something in your buggy.

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    Before we award the couple a few million from the store and the police we need to realize that they did break the laws on shoplifting. No matter what their intent or actual actions were they did break the law. I agree about overreaction but they admitted guilt. In this case it was a sandwich or two, a small item, but what if it were something more expensive such as a coat or sweater. Last winter I was shopping with my wife and found that I had not dressed appropriately for the weather. I went into one store, picked out a sweater, put it on to wear out. I walked up to the register and told the lady to how about pull the tags off for me. This was a small store so it was hard to forget but if it had been in a large store and I shopped around some more it could have been easy for me to forget. Since the cost of the sweater was over $50 should I have been charged or simply reminded and let go after paying for it. If I had been intent on shoplifting the sweater would it have been better for me to throw the tags away or to keep them. By keeping them I could claim that I forgot but if I had thrown them away I would have no defense. So keeping the wrapper cuts both ways depending on the product being lifted and your intent.

    I have no doubts that in the case discussed that it was a mistake by the couple but they were guilty of shoplifting just like the ones trying to steal a 42" TV. They were treated terribly by those involved but lawsuits for being treated badly in this case are not warranted as far as I am concerned. Shoplifting is a crime just like robbery. If someone finds your Glock 21 lying on your porch here you accidently left it and takes it with them is that a crime?
    Last edited by PT111; 11-03-2011 at 09:21 PM.

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    Regular Member 09jisaac's Avatar
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    PT111:

    Maybe that wasn't a good analogy.
    But I do agree with what you're saying. They broke the law and shouldn't be allowed to claim damages for it (they probably will, and will probably win). But I don't really see anyone "forgetting" anything in the buggy that would stick out soo prominently in their head? I have drunk pepsis, eat candy/food in a store before. But I look for those items to be paid for because out of every item in my buggy those stick out the most.

  20. #20
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack House View Post
    I don't know what you think I was talking about, I was replying to that part of your post.
    OK, maybe I should have said 'a non-professional, or non-serial shoplifter', iow would not normally buy all that food and also try to steal while saving the wrapper. Hope that's specific enough for you. I'm well aware of people concealing stuff in the bottom of the cart. Presumably they don't make a living by shoplifting/

    Does it really matter about my making a casual statement about my interpretation of this case and it being a mistake? Seems nit-picky to carry this further, so I'm signing off on this thread.
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    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    No one is trying to nitpick. I'm just pointing out that just because they bought some stuff doesn't mean anything.

    I agree that the evidence suggests they weren't shoplifters and that it was a serious overreaction.

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    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 09jisaac View Post
    Personally, If I was the manager and someone walked out with something as little as a sandwich I would have told them to make good on what they owed me and told them to never come back. I wouldn't have the fight for the $5 they were willing to give me.

    I can see it being an honest mistake. I've walked into gas stations and stuck gum in my back pocket before I realized it and almost have walked out without paying for it. Or I've walked out with a bottle of pop in my hand before. But I haven't, that I know of, taken something without paying for it. But in my opinion you don't forget to pay for something in your buggy.
    I certainly agree with the first point you made.

    However, we will probably never actually know the "truth" about what actually happened.

    Personally, I don't open anything, nor consume any edible product that I pick up in a store until it is paid for.

    Why? To avoid the same thing happening to me that happened to this woman and her husband.
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  23. #23
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markand View Post
    Looks like the store kind of overreacted.

    Since9, where did you send your letter to? If an email address, can you post it. I looked at the Safeway web site and have located several means of contacting them, but if you've found something that goes to the "right" place, that would be great for those that want to communicate concerns. Otherwise, I'll post all of the contact info I have.
    Hi, markand. Just the Safeway site in general.

    ETA Two Addresses:

    Customer Service Center
    Safeway Inc. - M/S 10501
    P.O. Box 29093
    Phoenix, AZ 85038-9093

    Public Affairs Department
    5918 Stoneridge Mall Road, Pleasanton, CA 94588

    I also sent an e-mail to their ethics hotline: business.ethics@safeway.com
    Last edited by since9; 11-04-2011 at 02:37 PM.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

  24. #24
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigsd View Post
    On another note...four hours for the police to respond? WTF?
    I might be a bit over the top on this issue, but some time within 60 seconds of being wrongfully accused, I'd have said, "I'm leaving now" or would have called 911 myself complaining of being wrongfully detained.

    Probably both. I might have made a beeline for the PD to file a wrongful something or other complaint against the the seriously errant proprietor ("Safe"way)

    I just googled this story and it is everywhere. I would expect Safeway to be asking that the charges be dropped and offering a profound apology any day now.
    If not, they'll loose millions. Sucks to be stupid them. Hopefully, they'll unstupify themselves without further delay.

    I'll have them know, anything less than a full unstupification, without any attempt to keep stupid ground, will result in unbelievably stupid and ridiculous amounts of profits soaring straight out their stupid windows.

    On the other hand, if they pull their heads out of their butts, realize this is America, where citizens' rights are preeminent and protected by the law of the land, commonly referred to as the Constitution of the United States of America, then perhaps, their business might actually survive this unbelievable faux pas.

    If not, their business is already gone.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

  25. #25
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    ^^ As Mr Since says, I believe it is not within a store's power to detain you after a suspected theft. You can just walk out and if they grab you it's assault and battery, I'd wager.

    But, when you're in the midst of stuff like this you aren't really thinking logically.
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    Hi, I'm hypercritical. But I mean no harm, I just like to try to look deeply at life

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