In the Seattle area, apparently even those too small to understand the crime have to do the time. On a recent shopping trip in Everett, Washington, 4-year-old Savannah Harp snuck a few dried apricots and then put the bag back on the shelf while her dad’s back was turned (good job eating your fruits, Savannah!). A security guard saw the whole kiddie caper, took the two to the back of the store and proceeded to ban the little girl from Safeway—the very same chain of stores that arrested a pregnant mom, causing her to temporarily lose custody of her toddler daughter for "stealing" a $5 sandwich—reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Little Savannah, who can’t yet read or write, was made to scribble on a form saying she could never again enter a Safeway store. The girl’s parents are understandably very upset, as are company officials. The security guard has since been fired and Safeway has apologized to the family.
"Our policies on shoplifting are intended to protect our customers, but built on common sense. And everyone understands what common sense is," said company spokesperson Cherie Myers, reports the Post-Intelligencer. "We are as appalled as the parent is. Our division president was absolutely appalled, called the mom and apologized."
What’s your policy on in-store noshing? Do you allow it, or do you make your kids wait to snack until you’ve paid in the checkout line?