Former law-and-order candidate accused of stealing nuts

Rancher Dale Peterson, of Birmingham, Ala.
AP Photo/Cliff Owen

In his unsuccessful 2010 bid to become Alabama agriculture commissioner, Dale Peterson pledged to "name names and take no prisoners" in an effort to crack down on crime. This week, the former candidate was arrested for the second time this year - for eating cashews out of the container at a Sam's Club and then putting it back on the shelf.

According to the Associated Press, Peterson was charged with third-degree theft of property and was released on $1,000 bond. The AP reports that security officers at the Hoover-area Sam's Club stopped Peterson after he paid for his other purchases and was on his way out.

Peterson took to Twitter to defend his reputation, explaining the situation as an unintentional mishap.

"I picked up some cashews when I got to Sams this afternoon. Ate a handful. Put them in my cart & kept shopping," he wrote in the first of several Tweets.

"[A]n hour later, when I went to checkout, I put the cashews back (forgetting I had eaten a few), purchased $700 of merchandise & went to jail," he continued. "It wasn't right, but it wasn't intentional..."

It's a familiar scenario for the would-be agriculture commissioner: In October, he was charged with the same crime for walking his shopping cart - filled with beer and paper towels - past a Wal-Mart cash register without paying, according to the AP.

The Twitter user "PastorPookey" had a little bit of advice for Peterson: "#walmart owned stores are bad luck for you. Ever considered online shopping? Less #risky for bathroom and snack breaks," he Tweeted at the former candidate.

Perhaps seeing Pastor Pookey's point, Peterson retweeted the comment.