Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Elusive Philly Bread Squeezing Bandit

I have no idea why I was thinking about this guy the other week but there really was a Philly Bread Squeezing Bandit.

His reign of terror lasted for over 3 years! I was living in Philly at the time and it really was hilarious. Anyway, I found this old article and ended up crying because I was laughing so hard.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Bread Squeezer 'Kneads' Help, Judge Rules

Judge Tells Convicted Bread Squeezer to Seek Treatment

A Pennsylvania man convicted of pinching and crushing hundreds of dollars worth of baked goods in local supermarkets must seek psychological help or risk going to jail, a judge ruled today.

Prosecutors claimed Samuel Feldman, 37, was on a three-year bread-squeezing spree at a series of stores in Lower Makefield, Pa., routinely poking holes in cookie wrappers and loaves of bread, rendering them unsellable.

Feldman could have faced possible probation and up to a $1,000 fine, but it looks like he squeezed by without punishment. Judge David Heckler postponed sentencing indefinitely today.

He suggested Feldman see a psychologist for evaluation of what the judge said was a compulsive behavioral problem.

Heckler said could have sentenced Feldman to jail time, but said he would not impose punishment as long as Feldman got whatever kind of treatment a health care professional deemed necessary.

A Bucks County jury had reached a split verdict after six hours of deliberations Thursday, finding Feldman guilty of damaging cookies but not bread.

The judge reversed the decision, however, and convicted Feldman of two counts of criminal mischief for damaging bread and cookies worth less than $1,000.

Caught Bread-Handed

A surveillance videotape introduced as evidence showed Feldman manhandling the baked goods on several occasions at a Lower Makefield Giant Food supermarket, which suffered $8,000 in damage to its bread and cookies over three years.

Feldman’s lawyer, Ellis Klein, said his client was only testing the bread for freshness when he was caught on film, and that he wasn’t responsible for the previous bakery assaults at the store.

“Touching multiple loaves of bread does not mean that you’re damaging. Their whole case is based on an assumption that he’s acting weird, therefore, he must be the guy who did it,” he said.

Feldman, who was arrested in January, originally had been charged with all the baked goods damage at Giant Foods, including 175 bags of bagels, 227 bags of potato dinner rolls, and more than 3,000 bags of sliced bread.

Defense attorneys had argued that since police didn’t fingerprint the goods, they couldn’t prove Feldman was responsible.

Feldman, a salesman, relocated from Lower Makefield, Pa., to Las Vegas this summer.

Residents had wondered about the mysterious attacks on rye, wheat and other loaves since 1997, when the first sqeezings were reported.

Before installing its video surveillance system, Giant Food hired extra security personnel to stand guard over the targeted aisle.

But their suspect continued to elude them, striking nearly every day. “He was pretty good at it,” said store manager Jay Zeltt back in June. “Very quick.”

“There’s plenty of people laughing about it now,” Zeltt said. “But at the time it was going on, it was a very serious situation.”

“If it was one store, it’s one thing. But, then, when you’ve got five stores and you’re having the same problem, it counts up to a lot of money,” said cookie distributor Bob Krause.

Feldman’s problems are apparently not over yet, however. Owners of a Yardley supermarket are suing him for damaging thousands of dollars worth of bread at their store. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


  1. hahahaha! this writer must have had so much fun with all the puns.

    Also, I didn't know that you could be legally punished for "mischief"!

    So entertaining. All he needs now is a cartoon about it, with some fat bakery owner shaking his fist in rage.

  2. anyone shaking a fist of rage is a ok in my book!

  3. Shut up! I love this - A good laugh :)
    Who doesn't have the urge to squeeze bread in the grocery every now and again?

  4. Wait... one can have a "bread squeezing spree" like this is some sort of serial crime. HAHAHAHAH!

  5. Sara-

    I know!!! I seriously crack up whenever I think of this guy! What a weird fetish....

  6. Hysterical! "Caught Bread-Handed."
    Thanks for the laugh! :-)

  7. hehehe, I loved all the plays on words in this article!