Arrest a couple with a young child for shoplifting?

Big news in America at the moment that could be an interesting discussion topic:

A pregnant woman, her husband, and their 3-year-old go grocery shopping. While shopping they grab two sandwiches that together cost $5. She openly munched on one while they shopped, saving the wrapper to be scanned at the register later.

But they forgot to pay for the sandwiches as they checked out with about $50 worth of groceries. The security guard caught them and instead of allowing the parents to pay, Safeway management called the police. The couple was arrested for shoplifting (apparently it took four hours for the police to respond so I presume the family was detained by Safeway employees during that time) and with both parents in police custody, the 3-year-old had to go to a state facility.

Did Safeway do evil here? Or did the couple just get what they deserved for breaking the law? Do we say, ‘OK if you have kids and shoplift you don’t get in any trouble, but if you shoplift without kids, you get arrested’ ? Do we treat everyone the same? If we treat everyone equally, does that mean every shoplifter gets arrested or every shoplifter pays for what they stole and avoids trouble entirely?

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