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4-year-old Punished by a Security Guard for Eating Apricots at Safeway

4-year-old Punished by a Security Guard for Eating Apricots at Safeway

Do you shop at Safeway with your kids? You'd best keep an eagle eye on them while you walk the aisles: a Seattle family is in shock over the way the chain treated their 4-year-old daughter. Unbeknownst to her dad, the little girl opened a bag of dried apricots, ate a few, and then returned the bag to the shelf. When a security guard noticed her sticky fingers, he gathered evidence of her crime and then removed her and her dad to a break room, where he made the tot "sign" an affidavit acknowledging that she was banned from Safeway.

In light of the chain's recent fumbling of a similar incident (a Safeway in Hawaii initiated criminal proceedings against a pregnant mom who forgot to pay for two sandwiches she ate while shopping, and as a result CPS took away her toddler), the chain was faster to react to this incident. They called the mom to apologize and fired the security guard.

Read the whole story (Seattle Pi)

Do you ever let your kids eat unpaid food in the supermarket?

Image Source: otherstream via Flickr/Creative Commons

Join The Conversation
loriwhitaker95277 loriwhitaker95277 5 years
Rest assured I WILL NEVER shop at a Safeway EVER again---I don't care if my kid opened an entire case of something and dove in for a swim--they had not yet left the store, so no crime had yet been committed. There were no legal grounds to detain them. The guard is a ridiculous fop and were I the parent, I'd have to sue, I would not be able to let it go. As it is, it wasn't me or mine involved and the guard has lost future revenue for his employer for being a clod. I plan to tel EVERYONE I know NOT to shop at Safeway. Shame on them!
KerinPridmore KerinPridmore 5 years
Any eating, or drinking, of items before they are paid for is shoplifting, or "theft of services" and is a criminal offence. Respectful, well-watched children make shopping trips more pleasant for childless shoppers as well as us fellow parents. Overzealous security guards don't help the situation but cirticizing the people we expect to uphold and enforce all the "other" laws is also unfair. Pay for it before you open it, it's that simple!
SharonBatte SharonBatte 5 years
There is a problem now days that nobody is responsible for what they do. It is always someone elses fault. This practice starts with young kids. Letting them eat something before paying or not paying is teaching this concept at an early age. I can't believe the number of people who think there is nothing wrong with this. Prices go up and everybody has to pay for things that are stolen.
SharonBatte SharonBatte 5 years
I see kids eating things like bananas, which can't be paid for after eaten, and their parents letting them. Guess they don't consider it stealing.
MelissaJohnson97895 MelissaJohnson97895 5 years
Yes, it isn't right to not watch kids and to let them eat off the shelves. But, if you have a toddler and they are really hungry, especially if it is their fave snack it is hard to say NO. I tried several times at Target this week. Finally after the 4th time I opened them and let him have some. I did pay for them though. I think if he was over 3 1/2 though he would remember and think it was OK so No to after that age and should in fact pay for those things.
DanielleLemire DanielleLemire 5 years
I used to sneak grapes as a kid, it was never this bad! I even knew some store owners that encouraged us to sample a few grapes (then tell our mom how good they were, of course, lol). No one should treat a young child like that over something so trivial. Scare the teens that steal candy and energy drinks.
TerranMurphy TerranMurphy 5 years
This child engaged in theft and Dad is obviously oblivious. It infuriates me when I see parents allowing their children to eat things in the supermarket before paying. It is theft, plain and simple. Why not teach your children patience? It is perpetuating the instant gratification needs of society.
AnitaBurnham AnitaBurnham 5 years
If my 5yo is ever hungry, we make sure to save the wrapper and pay for it. He knows that's the right thing to do. I know he would never eat something off the shelf and put it back! And he's never even tried. But having a 4yo sign something that she doesn't even understand! OMG, just another reason I don't and never will shop at Safeway.
RamonaBrewer50636 RamonaBrewer50636 5 years
A little harsh perhaps, but the guard shouldn't have lost his job because the dad wasn't watching his child.
Susanmontalvo Susanmontalvo 5 years
It is stealing to eat anything that has not been paid for. and how is the father unaware that the child was eating something? But honestly people she is 4 and learning how the world works teach her don't traumatize her.
SusanMorris83058 SusanMorris83058 5 years
I never, never eat anything in a store before I have paid for it, and never let my kids do it either. One time I got to the checkout, and my debit card was frozen because someone had attempted to use my account fraudulently. I couldn't pay for anything until I visited my bank. Fortunately I hadn't eaten anything in the store. You never know what might happen - lose or forget your money or whatever. Whenever my kids want to eat something in the store I use this as an opportunity for them to learn to withhold gratification and be patient. A good tip is to try to eat something and feed the kids before going shopping, to make sure there is no gnawing hunger. But even if we are hungry, we won't die from starvation while waiting in line.
AlbaNavarro AlbaNavarro 5 years
w0w amazing some people wow
ClaudiaBeaudoin66906 ClaudiaBeaudoin66906 5 years
I will not shop at any Safeway anymore! This is ridiculous.
DorothyBailey22908 DorothyBailey22908 5 years
When my daughter was about 3 we were shopping and I was picking out some fruit. While my back was turned she picked up an apple an took a bite from it. It happen so fast. I told her we can't eat any food until we pay for it. The employees of the market said it was ok and not to worry about it. They have cards that if you pay a dollar for (the money goes to a childrens charity) it's good for a year and the child can get an apple if it a fruit card or a cookie each time they go in the store. The kids love this:)
Nicky78723 Nicky78723 5 years
I understand you should watch your kid and not allow them to do that...But I also believe Safeway should hire people with some common sense!!! You take that situation up with the parent you dont make a 4 YEAR OLD sign a paper banning her from the store! Wow...this being the second incident i've heard of from Safeway reacting unreasonably to a problem. Im getting a little sick of them
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