A Felon Or Just Nuts? Republican Candidate Arrested For Eating Handful of Cashews At Sam’s Club

article-nuts1-0328Dale Peterson, the Alabama Republican running for Agricultural Commissioner, has railed against “thugs and criminals.” Yet, Peterson is facing a second shoplifting charge in just five months. The latest charge however is over a handful of nuts that he ate at a Sam’s Club. Indeed, it is hard to see why either of these charges were brought rather than requiring a simple payment at the counter.

Dale Peterson has insisted that “I can tell you right now on a stack of Bibles, Dale Peterson is not a thief.” Yet, Sam’s Club says that he was spotted shopping for roughly an hour and a half during which time he opened a jar of cashews and ate a handful. They watched him apparently for over an hour and then spotted him putting the jar back. They waited for him to pay for his other groceries and grabbed him outside of the store with the 22 cents of unpaid cashews in his stomach.

His defense was classic: “Maybe I’m getting too damn old, getting CRS disease or whatever . . . can’t remember shit.”

article-nuts2-0328Notably, he spent hundreds of dollars at the store that day in paying his prior bill and buying more items. I am a bit surprised that, given his large purchase, this could not be resolved without resource to a criminal charge and trial. Peterson says that he simply forgot that he opened the jar. He said that he spent an hour and a half grazing off free food “eating little chicken strips that they give away or some yogurt. Sometimes you get through, you’re full, you’ve had lunch there.”

After his feasting at Sam’s, he paid and left only to have a security guard stop him and say that he “didn’t pay for those peanuts that are in your stomach.”

Was Peterson wrong? Obviously. But what is the need for a criminal charge here?

I was particularly suspicious of Peterson after reading that this was his second such arrest. However, the first arrest also seemed a bit minor. That incident occurred months earlier at a Walmart when Peterson pushed his cart full of beer and toilet paper past the registers. He said that he was just parking the cart near a bathroom, but he was charged with shoplifting.

Peterson is now charged third-degree theft of property on the second incident — not a good development for a law-and-order guy who would brandish a shotgun in his advertisements.

Source: NY Daily News

28 thoughts on “A Felon Or Just Nuts? Republican Candidate Arrested For Eating Handful of Cashews At Sam’s Club

  1. I recall a case where a person was sent to prison for life… Why eating grapes…. A simple misdemeanor….. But he had two prior felonies….. They stacked em and sent him away….

  2. I agree with that arrest. Currently, health inspectors are terrorizing dining and food selling establishments, fining them heavily for the slightest infraction. Yet some customers “graze” their way through grocery stores, frequently leaving their germs as they go.

    If filesharing is theft punishable by millions in fines, eating store cashews is theft.

    If illegal parking can get your car towed at a cost of well over $100, eating store cashews is theft.

    If shoplifting a pack of gum can get you life in prison (for a third strike), eating store cashews is theft.

    Dale Peterson should have instead ripped off pensioners for tens of millions of dollars. That’s legal. Petty theft is little people crime, and you go to prison for little people crimes.

  3. He can’t remember he opened and ate the nuts? And he is running for public office? Heck, he is way overqualified. Make him the AGs assistent, then Mr. Holder can send him out to do the press interviews every time a rich banker is left off scott free.

  4. I have to agree with Mark Gisleson. The arrest is proper for being a public health issue alone. He put the opened yet previously sealed container back on the shelf. He didn’t “forget” anything. He’s just a pig completely unconcerned to the welfare of others, at best. He’s put a potential unwary customer at risk and/or caused the store to take a loss on a now unsalable product.

  5. I was suspect of the first time too but rereadingit sounds like he did not leave the store. If he didn’t it is my understanding you can’t be picked up for shoplifting because you have not yet stolen them.
    I do this often at Walmart and elsewhere, the restrooms are past the cashier stand. If you have a cart and want to use them you have to park them outside the restrooms. No one has ever said a word. The worst that has happened is that a too diligent employee decides the cart is abandoned and takes it.
    Putting back the jar after he ate them is not so innocent. Ditto with Gene.

  6. Raff What’s wrong with Walmart? Just because the retail clerks union is on the outside, and Walmart is cutting into the super markets profits. I remember when the super markets wipedout all the neighborhood mom and pop stores. It’s called progress through better marketing.

  7. so, you don’t mind buying a package of something and then discovering when you get home it has been opened? Its a bit more than 22 cents.

    As for the filing of charges, there may be a bit more to the story but either way he is guilty (apparently) of shoplifting & should not expect to be let off simply because he does not think it was that big a deal

  8. I believe the criminal charge is warranted. This isn’t an eight year old eating a candy bar she found in the store. He knew what he had done was shoplifting, especially when he opened a sealed jar and then put it back when he was done eating from it.

    There would be no disincentive to steal if the only penalty that could be assessed would be to pay the $1.50 or whatever it was for the jar of peanuts. People could steal reapeatedly and rack up a good bounty if they only got caught one out of twenty times. Fiinancially it would be a good profit / loss for them and actually see much gain.

  9. When I worked in Chicago the firm where I worked defended Jewel Food Stores and they were sued by a woman. She was arrested for shoplifting. However, she didn’t take anything per se. What she did was lift the tops off of different types of dip and lick the small amount on the top to see if she liked it!! This was prior to the Tylenol killings when all products were accessible. I ALWAYS check my sour cream, cottage cheese lids to this day when I get home. The images of this woman licking the tops is burned into my brain.

  10. Not only does he have a sense of entitlement, he is cheap too. He is too poor to take the nuts to the cashier and buy them? It is not the price of the nuts, it is the health hazard, which is the more serious offense. What if he had a contagious disease? I am willing to bet the price of a steak dinner he would not offer to pay for medical treatment of somebody who ate food he (or anybody else) contaminated in such a fashion.

  11. I just watched the campaign video above. I wondered if this was an ad for ag commissioner or an audition for the role of Rooster Cogburn in a new movie. What a loose cannon. And he says he will take no prisoners, what’s he going to do when he wants to enforce a law dealing with someone that tills their groves improperly, take his lever action rifle to them and ride off on his horse into the sunset? Could he wrap himself in a Marine Corps flag any tighter? I’m surprised he didn’t show his marksmanship prowess by shooting the caps off beer bottles at 100 paces.

    I imagine this will be the model for his next campaign video:

  12. Former Cop:

    Hi Ho Hi Ho of to jail he goes. Republican, what rules. First conviction makes the second a…..center fence home run.



  13. There’s no can of cashews (from the link it was cashews) that costs $1.50 Darren. A can of whole cashews go from 4+ to 6+$’s at the store I shop at- Fancy mixed nuts are 7+$ depending on the brand. Sam’s may have lower prices but he still made unsalable a product that cost 3+$ even if he ate the less expensive ones. It’s a total quibble I know but I went to the the store like, 11 hours ago and picked up a can of fancy mixed nuts as a treat for the better half and was surprised at the price- it’s gone up again.

    I’d be inclined to just make him pay for the nuts unless he got hostile over it, then I’d call the cops. The possibility of early onset Alzheimers may be something he should consider if this kind of behavior keeps up.

  14. Lottakatz

    We had stores around where I worked that would sometimes cut them loose, trespass them, and depending on circumstances they would call my department. Knowing that if I was called over there for a shoplifter and the evidence was there for a clean case I nearly always either cited the person or took them to jail. If the merchant had enought of the person and wanted them charged that was enough for me, because they wouldn’t have called us otherwise.

    One store was a bit odd. Probably one out of every five times I went there the suspect turned out to be an employee. And it seemed despite the fact that one of their coworkers got nicked for theft, they soon forgot about it and ripped the store off their employer anyway.

  15. I was barred from WM for having an open bag of chips in the store. No, I wasn’t a customer. I worked for a vendor, a chips company, shelving their products. An ass. mgr. asked me if I had a receipt for the open bag. Of course I didn’t; the bag was open when I took it out of the shipping carton. It was on its way to the compactor, which is where all the unsealed and out-of-date product went. The contents were dumped into the compactor and the bags went into the credits bin.

  16. Shoplifting is still stealing. If every person guilty of shoplifting were just let go, without being charged, we’d have a world full of thieves! Anyone who steals something, regardless of what it costs, should be punished. Period. But, if a kid, say 5 or 6, steals something, it’s a little different. A child that age doesn’t know any better. But, If they’re say, 15 or 16, they should know better.

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