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Man Acquitted After Stealing Hot Dog

Hot dogs
(Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

When I go into a grocery store and decide I’d like to buy some grapes, I’ll admit it. I taste one. It’s not that I’m trying to steal from the store, though it is technically stealing, but I don’t want to end up getting home and having a bag of grapes that are too sour for me to eat. Do bear in mind, however, that I eat ONE grape. Not the whole bag while I’m shopping.

Grocery stores have made it easy to eat while you’re shopping, and a man in Washington recently took advantage of a self-service counter while going through a store. He picked up a hot dog and ate it while shopping, but when he went through the check-out line, he forgot to add it into his total bill.
The manager was not so amused.
John Richardson was stopped by the manager and police were called, and thus began what would become a jury trial. Yes, folks. A jury trial over a 99 cent hot dog.
Richardson was given the option of paying $200 to clear the charges, but opted to instead go to court over it. As luck would have it, the jury decided that it was indeed as simple as forgetting to pay for the item. I just wonder what they would have given him as punishment if he’d been found guilty. A fine? Time in jail? Probation? Imagine explaining that one on your next job application…
Read more about the hot dog theft here.
CHENEY, Wash. – A man has been cleared of a theft charge after a bemused jury in Washington state found him not guilty of stealing a 99-cent hot dog.

John Richardson got the sausage from the self-serve counter of a Cheney, Wash., grocery store in December. He ate it while he shopped but forgot to include it when he paid for his groceries.

Store managers confronted Richardson and called police.

It took jurors about five minutes to reach their verdict in the February trial. Juror Patrick Reeves tells The Spokesman-Review someone would “have to be an idiot” not to realize Richardson simply forgot to pay.

Prosecutor Julie McKay didn’t buy that. She says Richardson refused a deal to pay a $200 civil penalty and have the charge dropped.

Store officials declined to comment.

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