Should an allegedly stolen sandwich really have led to a mother losing custody of her daughter? Is it always good practice to follow rules and regulations to the letter, even if they don’t seem appropriate to the situation at hand?

These are the questions that many parents, business owners, and surprised consumers are asking after news broke that a pair of Hono­lulu parents had their 2-year-old daughter taken away from them after they walked out of a Safeway grocery store without paying for two sandwiches that had eaten while shopping. (It should be noted, however, ­that the couple, Marcin and Nicole Leszczynski, did go to the checkout counter and paid for what they say was about $50 worth of groceries).

Some parents, including the Post’s On Parenting blogger Janice D’Arcy, came to the parents’ defense, arguing that it was an easy, mindless mistake to make and that the crime clearly didn’t warrant such a strong reaction.

On the flip side, others have suggested that the Safeway employees and police officers made the right call by punishing the Leszczynskis, and that the law doesn’t include exceptions for a “mommy-brain moment” as Nicole Leszczynski has called it.

Safeway officials seem to be taking the latter position, with a company spokeswoman telling the Associated Press that “it was not handled in the appropriate manner.” The company has dropped charges against the couple.

What do you think? Was it a good business decision for Safeway to let this go since many customers seemed so alarmed by the situation? Did the Leszczynskis get a fair shake?

Here is some of the conversation from Twitter about the situation. Tell us what you think on Twitter or in the comments section below.

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