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Mom Banned for Life from Grocery Store

Alloy Photography for Veer

Call it a case of “mommy brain” or willful theft, an NYC mom was recently banned for life from a local grocery store after failing to pay for a half-gallon of milk she claims she accidentally left in the bottom of her stroller, reports the New York Post.

Stay-at-home mom, Elissa Drassinower, 33, told the Post, "My handbasket was getting so heavy, my arm was turning red. So I put the milk and a six-pack of Corona under the stroller. When I was checking out, my son, who was really cranky, started acting up, and I forgot to pay for the milk and the beer." 

Upon exiting the store, Drassinower, who has no criminal record, was confronted by a security guard who told her that she had witnessed her place the items under the stroller and that she was shoplifting.

"The security guard took my photograph, told me I was banned from Fairway for life and said I was lucky she didn't call the police. I was crying, my 20-month-old son was crying. It was humiliating," she said.

Drassinower pointed to the $50 of groceries she had just bought, asking, "If I really meant to shoplift, why would I pay for the $15 brie and the cranberry Stilton only to steal $3.49 milk?"

In response, the mom claims that the guard told her that she was banned from the store for life, and that if she were to attempt to return, she would be arrested for trespassing. Although she was not arrested, the store has refused her requests to lift the ban.

"The woman in question was caught both on camera and by security trying to conceal and pilfer a number of items including milk, Red Bull and beer. We exercised our right to not serve her again," Bruce Bobbins, a spokesman for the company, told the Post.

On the one hand, I get the store's zero-tolerance policy for shoplifting, but on the other, I have certainly found myself momentarily preoccupied by my kids and could see how something like this might be an honest mistake (and just this weekend, my 2-year-old walked out of a store carrying a bag of Pirate's Booty that he'd grabbed from a low shelf as we were leaving—but I ran right back in and returned it as soon as I saw it—thankfully he wasn’t banned for life)... 

What’s your take: Was this a fair punishment? Have you ever forgotten to pay for something because you were distracted by your kids?