Grocery shopper irate after suspected of shoplifting fresh fruit

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJuly 1, 2013 

Yesterday while shopping for fruit, I once again forgot my bags in the car. So I paid, gathered up my goods and put it all back in the cart to transport it to the car. I then took time to walk across the parking lot to return the cart so as not to scratch anyone's paint (there were no cart returns).

I was home about 20 minutes when a Bellingham police officer walked through my (open) door while I was carving a watermelon fruit salad for my grandson's soccer party. I was told I was a suspect for shoplifting. I was interrogated, and after I produced my receipt, the officer left saying it was a mistake.

Some shopper in the parking lot reported me as a shoplifter because my fruit (assortment of melons, strawberries and grapes) weren't in bags. She took down the license number of my car. I thought in the USA, it was innocent until proven guilty. What if I had thrown the receipt away? Or the checker at the register had left work sick and could not verify me?

The police need to back way off on innocent folks like me and work on catching the hoodlums taking over Bellingham. And I am furious this escalated like it did. This incident occurred in front of my young grandchildren and my neighbors. It made us late to a planned event and ruined my day! It's totally unacceptable, gave me a bitterness to the police, and made me realize how truly un-free we are in this country!

Elizabeth Owens of Bellingham, via Letters to the Editor

THRILLED BY STORY ABOUT SQUALICUM HIGH STUDENTS

What a wonderful way to begin my day seeing the beautiful smiles on the faces of Dana Armerding and his fellow classmates on the front page of The Bellingham Herald June 11. It was a delight to read such a heartwarming story about the generosity, warmth and caring of these young people and the joy they received from making a difference in the life of a friend and classmate.

And what an inspiration Dana Armerding is, who, according to one of his teachers, in spite of his challenges, has "incredible charisma and joy for the world." Thank you, students and staff of Squalicum High School, for making my day, and to The Bellingham Herald for making this your lead story!

Judy Bayless of Bellingham, via Letters to the Editor

APPRECIATES FLOWER ANGEL AT VETERANS MEMORIAL

I would like to thank the angel who takes the time and money to lay flowers at the Veterans Memorial at Bayview Cemetery.

On Mother's Day, this person placed a long-stem rose in each vase and placed a rose above the niches that had no vase. On Father's Day, there was a white mum in each vase.

I want you to know how much I greatly appreciate you. I am deeply touched by your graciousness.

Thank you for taking the time and spending your hard-earned money for the many souls at rest. Their family members appreciate and thank you so much!

Nancy Sefrit of Bellingham, via Letters to the Editor

THANKFUL FOR GRANT TO AMY'S PLACE YOUTH CENTER

Thank you to the Bellingham Bay Rotary for its recent donation to Old Town Christian Ministries' Amy's Place Youth Drop in Center. Because of your generous donation, new shoes and warm clothing will be purchased for Amy's Place youth and children. Thank you for responding to our grant request and providing the means to provide basic need items to vulnerable local youth and children. For more information about Amy's Place, please visit amysplaceforyouth.org

Heidi Unick of Bellingham, via Letters to the Editor

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