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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