Erwin Lingitz, Retired Minnesota Man, Claims Supervalu Had Him Arrested For Stealing Free Samples

Man Claims Supermarket Had Him Arrested For Stealing Free Samples
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What exactly we mean by “free samples" could soon become a critical component of a new lawsuit.

Minnesota shopper Erwin Lingitz, a retiree, is suing grocery chain Supervalu, as well as a number of individuals, for allegedly violating his civil rights by using force to arrest him on grounds he was stealing deli meat samples, according to a copy of the complaint filed last month and obtained by The Huffington Post. But Lingitz claims the food he took was offered as free, and, as his wife put it to the Pioneer Press, "you can't arrest somebody for thievery if it is free."

Lingitz claims in the lawsuit that he sustained several injuries during the arrest.

But Supervalu spokesman Mike Siemienas told the Pioneer Press that Lingitz violated “societal norms” by taking up to 1.5 pounds of food. An attorney for Supervalu has also claimed that the company should not be included in the lawsuit at all, since the incident in question took place at a store owned by a franchisee. Supervalu didn't return a voicemail message from The Huffington Post seeking comment.

Lingitz had allegedly been spotted by store employees taking more than what typically constitutes a “sample” in the past, according to Supervalu.

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