Protective Mothers' Alliance International

family court abuse/corruption

Pregnant mom busted for a sandwich!?! / HLN

with 3 comments


Have you ever been hungry and munched on something before getting to the supermarket check-out? Yeah, us too.

Ever been arrested for forgetting to pay for it, then lose custody of your toddler daughter? Yeah, probably not.

But that’s what a couple in Hawaii says happened to them.

Nicole Leszczynski, 28, who is also 30 weeks pregnant, and her husband Marcin, 33, were shopping last week at a Honolulu Safeway with their two-year-old-daughter. She tells affiliate KHON she felt faint, noshed on the sammies, put the wrappers in the cart to pay later and finished shopping. They checked out, paying about $50 for the groceries, but in what Nicole called a “distracted parenting moment” they left the story without paying the five bucks for the chicken salad sandwiches.

That’s when their trouble began. A security guard stopped them. Embarrassed, the couple offered to pay for the sandwiches. But managers refused, citing store policy, Leszczynski says.

Police were called, the two were arrested and taken to a Honolulu police department, getting released after a few hours on $50 bail. But in another decision that authorities called following procedure, daughter Zofia was taken away and placed in state custody.

‘’They had to call Child Protective Services to take our daughter because we have no friends or family here,’’ she wrote on a post, adding that their bail was $50 each and they were charged with fourth degree theft.

“We didn’t know where our daughter was, didn’t know what the situation was, she didn’t have any clothes. They just took her right from the grocery store.’’ Leszczynski says the couple spent a sleepless night worrying before the girl was returned 18 hours later. She adds it’s “still hard to believe this happened.”

Now it seems Safeway’s corporate offices are eating crow sandwiches for lunch.

The store’s latest official statement says: “It appears we may not have handled this matter in the best possible way and we are taking the situation seriously.”

KHOU reports the couple is planning to fight the shoplifting charges at their court date later this month.

This story has plenty of people outraged. What’s your reaction?

3 Responses

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  1. No, actually, I have never been hungry and eaten food that didn’t belong to me. That is called “stealing” and I try to avoid that behavior. Removing the child from her parents was ridiculous and should not have happened. That’s a police action and they should answer for it. All Safeway did was insist that customers refrain from theft – a reasonable attitude for a retailer.


    November 3, 2011 at 1:33 am

  2. Good grief!!

    At least Protective Services saw reason fairly quickly but how could they not tell the parents where the child was?
    I’m glad Safeway is eating crow sandwiches.
    To free an innocent mom in prison 9 1/2 years, go to and sign the linked petition.

    Margaret Candler

    November 3, 2011 at 1:47 am

  3. “That’s when their trouble began. A security guard stopped them. Embarrassed, the couple offered to pay for the sandwiches. But managers refused, citing store policy”, Leszczynski says.

    Jane, Thank you for your response. As you can see, the couple offered to pay for the sandwiches. The manager refused. This could have been quickly solved. Taking children away from their parents , over a sandwich is insane.

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