Good News for Man Arrested Over 43 Cents of Mountain Dew

Felony theft charge against Joseph Sobolewski has been dropped
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 27, 2021 3:37 PM CDT
Good News for Man Arrested Over 43 Cents of Mountain Dew
Joseph Sobolewski thought $2 would cover the soda; it didn't.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Pennsylvania prosecutors have dropped a felony theft charge against a man who underpaid for a bottle of Mountain Dew by 43 cents. In August, Joseph Sobolewski went into an Exxon in Duncannon and saw a sign advertising two 20-ounce Mountain Dew bottles for $3, he said. PennLive reports the 38-year-old homeless man took one bottle, slapped $2 on the counter for what he thought was a $1.50 soda and walked out, not realizing the discount did not apply to a single bottle. The bottle really cost $2.29, so including tax, he owed an additional 43 cents, reports the AP. The store called the police.

State police found Sobolewski and arrested him on a felony charge. Sobolewski had twice in the past 10 years been charged with theft, once for not paying for a tank of gas and another time for stealing a pair of shoes from a store. Under Pennsylvania's three-strikes law, a third theft charge must be a felony, regardless of the amount or value involved. He faced up to seven years in prison. A judge ordered him held on $50,000 cash-only bond. He was in jail for seven days before his public defender successfully argued for his release. In addition to the felony theft charge being dropped, a charge of driving while suspended was reduced from a misdemeanor to a lower offense akin to a traffic ticket.

(Read more three strikes law stories.)

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