Grocery chain drops charges against sandwich-eating shoplifters

The supermarket chain, Safeway, knows a public relations blunder when it sees one.

A company executive at Safeway has decided not to press shoplifting charges against a Honolulu couple whose arrests over stolen sandwiches led state workers to take custody of their 2-year-old daughter, the Associated Press reports.

Marcin and Nicole Leszczynski ate a sandwich while shopping last week, and walked out of the store after checking out without paying. They said they forgot and offered to pay but company policy apparently forbids settling up in such a matter.

Their daughter Zofia was taken away by state Child Welfare Services officials. She was returned to her parents 18 hours later.

That touched off a national debate on whether law enforcement, store officials, and child welfare workers went a little overboard.