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bread crook gets toasted

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Ad people may be experts at exploring and massaging brands, but Samuel Feldman ... well, he just went a little too far.

Feldman, an ad guy from suburban Philadelphia, was sentenced last week to six months' probation and ordered to pay a cool $1,000 restitution after being found guilty of criminal mischief for mangling bread and crumbling cookies during visits to area grocery stores, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

"You engaged in behavior that was not just odd, it was criminal," Bucks County judge David Heckler scolded during the sentencing hearing.

During his trial, Feldman repeatedly denied any involvement in the so-called "Cookie Crumbler" rampage of 1997-99, and reportedly suggested during a recent psychiatric exam that the real vandal was still at large. Feldman's wife defended her husband, saying he was simply helping his family by checking for freshness. Yet video evidence of a typical Feldman squeezing frenzy, recorded by one of his victims, was more than enough for the jury.

It was unclear where Feldman has plied his ad skills or if colleagues there had to guard their lunches. But bread lovers everywhere can be assured that he may be mending his ways. "I do touch too much bread, yes, more than the next person," Feldman eventually admitted to the judge, adding, "Anytime I go shopping, my wife will supervise and will be with me."