Couple jailed, lose custody of daughter, over stolen sandwiches

HONOLULU Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:56pm EDT

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HONOLULU (Reuters) - A pregnant woman and her husband were arrested for allegedly stealing two sandwiches at a supermarket in Honolulu, resulting in their 3-year-old daughter being put into state care for 18 hours, officials said on Saturday.

The supermarket that called the police was a Safeway in Makiki, a neighborhood in Honolulu. A statement from a company spokesman said Safeway was checking on the incident.

"From our preliminary investigation, it appears we may not have handled this matter in the best possible way. We are taking this situation seriously, and giving it our full attention," Safeway said in a statement on Saturday.

Famished mother Nicole Leczcyzynski, 30-weeks pregnant, was feeling faint and noshed on a chicken salad sandwich while shopping at the store on Wednesday, Leczcyzynski said in an interview with local television station KHON.

She paid for roughly $50 dollars worth of groceries but forgot about the two sandwiches, valued at $5 each, according to Safeway.

The family was stopped by security staff while leaving the store. Leczcyzynski offered to pay for the sandwiches, she said, but the security guard called the police, the couple were arrested, and their daughter was taken into custody by Child Protective Services, a state welfare group.

"We walked a long way to the grocery store and I was feeling faint, dizzy, like I needed to eat something so we decided to pick up some sandwiches and eat them while we were shopping," she told the local station.

Both Leczcyzynski, and her husband, Marcin, were charged with theft, Honolulu police said. Bail was set at $50 apiece.

(Reporting by Jorene Barut in Honolulu; Additional reporting by Mary Wisniewski in Chicago; Writing by Eric Johnson in Chicago; Editing by Jerry Norton)

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Comments (9)
I’m sorry…but if the State over-reacting, is news – then reporters are guilty of not paying attention. Wait. That is so true. See the Media Section of

Oct 30, 2011 11:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
UnPartisan wrote:
I think the headline was misleading. I was thinking that they had to steal the sandwiches because they had no money. They just ate the sandwiches while shopping and forgot to get them ringed up to be paid for. They had the money, safeway should be apologizing and dropping all charges for this. If they knew they had eaten them, why didn’t they just call the cashier and tell her to make sure she charges the couple?

Oct 30, 2011 11:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
diagonalquad wrote:
The tv news reporter from one of the Honolulu tv stations said in the video segment on the station’s web site that the local police who responded were sympathetic to the woman’s condition and implied that the store manager took a hard line toward the couple.

Oct 31, 2011 5:25am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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