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US jury acquits man of stealing 99c hot dog

Grocery store managers called police after man forgot to pay for hot dog he consumed while shopping.

Image: stu_spivack via Creative Commons

A MAN HAS BEEN cleared of a theft charge after a bemused jury in Washington state in the US found him not guilty of stealing a 99-cent hot dog.

John Richardson got the sausage from the self-service counter of a shop in Cheney, Washington, in December.

He ate it while he shopped, but forgot to include it when he paid for his groceries. Store managers confronted Richardson and called police.

It took jurors about five minutes to reach their verdict in the February trial. Juror Patrick Reeves tells The Spokesman-Review someone would “have to be an idiot” not to realise Richardson simply forgot to pay.

Prosecutor Julie McKay didn’t buy that. She says Richardson refused a deal to pay a $200 civil penalty and have the charge dropped.

Shop officials declined to comment.

- AP

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