A trip to the grocery store in Honolulu ended with two parents in jail and a 2-year-old toddler under the care of Child Protective Services (CPS) for a family that had relocated to the area from California a week earlier.
After getting lost on their way to the grocery store, Nicole Leszczynski, 30 weeks pregnant, felt faint and openly munched on two chicken salad sandwiches ($5) while keeping the wrappers in the shopping cart to be scanned at the register — but she and her husband forgot to pay for the sandwiches and were stopped by a security guard on the way out. The chain of events that unraveled next are almost too bizarre to comprehend — and a parent's worst nightmare. Store managers of the Safeway grocery store refused to let the couple pay for the items and had the couple arrested for shoplifting. CPS was called in to take the couple's 2-year old daughter, Zofia, into custody, where she spent the night before being reunited once again with her parents 18 hours later.
Nicole explained that grocery shopping brings some anxiety for her now, especially after reading comments online criticizing her for eating before paying. "I didn't know it was such a taboo thing," she said. "Where I grew up in a small town it's not seen as stealing for sure."