A homeless man faces up to seven years in prison for failing to pay 43 cents for a bottle of Mountain Dew in Pennsylvania last month.
Joseph Sobolyowski, 38, went to a convenience store in Perry County in August to buy a soda bottle, PenLive reported. The advertised price of Mountain Dew was two for 3. Sobolewski paid $ 2 for a bottle and walked out. The price of a single bottle, however, was ২ 2.229 plus tax, meaning it was 43 cents smaller.
The publication added that the store was called by police to Sobolyski, who was arrested under the state’s “Three Strikes Act” for retail theft and charged with a felony. He was convicted of a theft more than a decade ago and a pair of shoes in 2011.
The price of the item is not considered in the third theft charge.
A criminal docket showed that Sobolysky was arrested because he was awaiting trial because he was unable to post a $ 50,000 cash bond. The bond was later changed to “unsecured” following an appeal by his public defender, which meant Sobolyuski was able to be released without paying in court, although the amount was the same.
PenLive noted that it is not clear whether charges will be levied – the law requires proof that the theft was a deliberate offense rather than a misunderstanding of the full value of an item.
The first offense of retail theft is a summary, equivalent to a speeding ticket, the second offense is a misdemeanor and the subsequent offenses are classified as third-degree offenses. The Sentinel newspaper in Pennsylvania notes that third-degree crimes include involuntary manslaughter, institutional sexual harassment, and carrying a gun without a license.
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