Laura Landro (pictured at left in the Hamptons) is a terribly attractive Wall Street Journal editor with a gazillionaire husband and a regular column called the "Finicky Traveler" (Recent topics: "Boston's Tale Of Two Ritzes" and "My Cabo Runneth Over.")* But lest you assume misfortune is an infrequent visitor in lives so charmed as hers; well: Landro is a survivor of not only leukemia — and accusations she wrongly smeared enemies of the hospital that treated hers — but the Kafkaesque misery of being interrogated by the K-Mart security forces for a crime she didn't (mean to) commit:

I was led to a windowless security room in the back of the store, detained for an hour and accused of deliberately switching a more expensive item into a cheaper box. My stunned protestations and explanations were summarily dismissed. My driver's license and credit card were temporarily confiscated, I was told to expect a civil notice of a fine by mail, and finally, I was advised never to return to the store.Though no law enforcement or court was involved, I was effectively tried, convicted and punished for a crime I didn't intend to commit.

And to think just months ago her beef with the service industry amounted to:

As I lounge poolside at the One&Only Palmilla resort in Los Cabos, Mexico, the stream of goodies from smiling white-garbed staffers keeps coming: a cool misting spray with moisturizer, assorted frozen fruit pops, head and knee pillows, chilled towels, a soothing gel eye mask, bottled water. When a young man offers to clean my sunglasses, though, I finally say no: Thanks, but I just want to sit and read my book.

Surely keeping her day job in mind, Landro stayed calm:

While detained, I emailed my husband on the golf course with the message "I've been arrested at Kmart" (just a little dramatic license) and called my stepdaughter-in-law to tell her I was OK.

And penned a 1,600-word column about the ordeal. That does not, for the record, make any mention of black people. Not to like, accuse anyone of "acting white."


*I met her once, full disclosure, at the Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel, where she identified all the important moguls in the room and wore an Hermes scarf. She was nice.

The Accidental Thief [WSJ]