Retail Police Blotter: Pretzel Dip Fight at Auntie Anne's

Welcome back to the weekly retail police blotter, a new feature that looks back at the week that was in retail crime. If something weird went down at a retail or restaurant chain near you, drop us a line at

Retail Police Blotter: Pretzel Dip Fight at Auntie Anne's
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Retail Police Blotter: Pretzel Dip Fight at Auntie Anne's

If there's a dispute at a fast-food restaurant, odds are good that someone is going to wind up throwing food. It happened a couple weeks ago at a McDonald's in Connecticut, and now we've had another incident at an Auntie Anne's pretzel shop in the Detroit suburb of Troy, Mich.

According to the Detroit Free Press, a customer at an Auntie Anne's realized she'd received the incorrect dipping sauce for her pretzel. The dispute escalated, an employee flung nacho cheese at the angry customer, the customer vaulted the counter, and property damaged ensued.

The company's president took to YouTube to apologize, and Detroit-area locations will be giving out free dip, which hopefully won't be thrown at anyone.


Meanwhile in Connecticut, a guy got really high on PCP and stole $137 worth of Easter baskets from Walmart.

The thief, identified as Antonio Sanabria, wasn't trying to be the Easter equivalent of the Grinch; he explained in a brief interview that the drugs "made me lose my mind." Police say he stole a shopping cart with ten baskets, and was found in the parking lot trying to sell them.

Sanabria pled guilty to sixth-degree larceny and was released. PCP has been known to drive people to cannibalism, so he can consider himself lucky that snatching some Easter baskets was the worst of his drug-induced crimes.
Remember the scene in Pulp Fiction where a couple of gun-toting bandits demand that all the patrons of a diner hand over their wallets? An armed thief in Miami tried the same scheme, but didn't consider Floridians' penchant for packing heat.

Police say Travis Harris walked into a Burger King and demanded a family's valuables at gunpoint. When he left the restaurant, the father followed him outside and shot him in the leg.

The wounded brigand managed to hop into a getaway car driven by his partner in crime, but they didn't get far. Apparently the getaway driver forgot to put gas in the tank, as they were nabbed at a gas station just a few blocks away. The two are facing robbery charges; the father will not be charged.
Via the indispensable Florida Man twitter feed comes the tale of shoplifter with a taste for the finer things in life. The Palm Beach Post reports that a loss-prevention employee at an unidentified store caught a man stuffing several DVDs down his pants.

When the employee asked him if he'd stolen anything else, the suspect sheepishly pulled out the rest of his haul: A package of steak and a package of cheese. The Greenacres police blotter wryly notes that he was planning a "lavish movie night."

Instead, he was charged with retail theft, and will not be enjoying steak and cheese for the foreseeable future.
Frank Salerno, age 55, was arrested after allegedly stealing allergy medicine from a CVS and then attempting to return it.

Police say Salerno stole $50 worth of allergy medicine from a Tarrytown, New York CVS, then came back to the store a half-hour later to try to return it. Employees there refused to make the return, presumably because he didn't have a receipt.

Not to be deterred, he showed up at another CVS just up the road and tried the same scheme. But employees there were ready for him, as suspicious employees at the first CVS had already called ahead to warn them of the plot.

After viewing surveillance footage of the initial theft, he was charged with petty larceny.

Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.
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