While FSU football star Jameis Winston got nabbed for shoplifting $32 of crab legs from a Publix grocery story in Florida this week, a woman named Janet Feldman was reveling in a far more impressive (and legal) Publix heist—one that scored her 300 free rotisserie chickens in the course of a year.

Her dastardly scheme began with the store’s well-known Publix Promise, which states that if the scanned price of any item (excluding alcohol and tobacco) exceeds its advertised or shelf price, customers will receive that item free of charge.

Feldman saw a loophole and went in for the kill.


Here’s how it worked: Rotisserie chicken is priced by weight, and the cooked birds weren’t always measuring up to the prices on their labels. Feldman would drive to various Publix stores, go straight to the rotisserie-chicken case, and look for the scrawniest birds she could find.

This is where it gets interesting. Each fully-cooked Publix chicken is supposed to weigh at least two pound. Knowing this, Feldman took those bony birds over to the scales in the produce department and weighed them to confirm her underweight-poultry suspicions. Then, she’d buy them like nothing was wrong and head straight to the customer service desk, tell them the birds were underweight, and ask for her money back, reports the Sun Sentinel. With the Publix Promise on her side, she also got to keep the chickens.

Now that news of the chicken plot is out, the jig is up. Publix issued a statement via spokeswoman Nicole Krauss:

“Publix delis have been informed to weigh rotisserie chickens that seem underweight and price them appropriately, or use those chickens in other deli recipes.”

Still, Feldman is already a local legend for her cost-saving exploits: “I’m known as the Chicken Lady,” she told the Sun Sentinel.

Perhaps the oddest part of this bizarre tale is that it’s unclear whether Feldman actually ate any of the chicken herself. What we do know is that she gave the majority of the meat to the various dog and cat shelters she works with around the area. 

[via The Hairpin]