HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania prosecutors have dropped a felony theft charge against a man who underpaid for a bottle of Mountain Dew by 43 cents.
Prosecutors in Perry County dropped the theft charge this month against Joseph Sobolewski, 38, and downgraded another charge, the Patriot-News reported Tuesday.READ MORE: 18-Year-Old Accused Of Sending Inappropriate Photos On Snapchat To Teenage Girl In Custody
In August, Sobolewski went into an Exxon in Duncannon and saw a sign advertising two 20-ounce Mountain Dew bottles for $3, he said. He 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 the store 43 cents.
State police found Sobolewski and arrested him on a felony charge. 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, the newspaper reported.READ MORE: More Than $3,000 Worth Of iPhones Stolen From Store In Pennsylvania
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.
District Attorney Andrew Bender did not answer emails or calls from the Patriot-News. Sobolewski did not return messages seeking comment.
Sobolewski told the newspaper it was “great news” that the felony was being dismissed. “I feel I was treated unequally because I had a record.”
The newspaper previously reported that Sobolewski had been charged with theft in Cumberland County earlier in the summer on suspicion of trying to take items from a Hobby Lobby with his wife. For that charge, his bail was set at $2,000, and he is applying for a diversion program there.MORE NEWS: Survey: Half Of Americans Plan To Shop On Small Business Saturday
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