Utah couple that won free groceries was facing theft charges

LAYTON, Utah (AP) — Authorities say a Layton couple that won $10,400 worth of groceries at a store-opening in Utah face felony charges alleging the theft of more than $5,000 worth of merchandise from another store.

The Deseret News reports the WinCo Foods store in South Salt Lake surprised Nicholas and Stephanie Mannino on Friday with the award of a year’s worth of groceries through Operation HomeFront.

The program partners with stores to honor military families, and Nicholas Mannino retired as a corporal in 2007 after six years in the U.S. Army.

The newspaper says that on Thursday, the two pleaded not guilty in a Farmington courtroom to felony theft charges alleging they systematically stole items from a department store where Stepanie Mannino worked as a cashier.

Their attorney, Paul Remy, declined to comment Saturday, and the couple didn’t respond Monday to a request for comment.