Thursday, January 27, 2022

Prosecutors dropped felony charges against man accused of stealing 43 cents soda

The Pennsylvania Attorney’s Office dropped felony charges against a homeless man accused of paying 43 cents too little for a bottle of Mountain Dew.

The Perry County District Attorney’s Office dropped the theft charge against 38-year-old Joseph Sobolevski earlier this month and dropped another charge against him after PennLive first reported the incident. Sobolevsky allegedly went into the store for a bottle of soda in August. Advertised price – two bottles of $ 3; the man paid $ 2 for a bottle and went out.

However, the price per bottle was $ 2.29 plus tax, which meant it was 43 cents short. A store employee called the police and Sobolevsky was arrested.

Pennsylvania has a “three strikes” law when it comes to retail theft. Previously, he was arrested and convicted twice, that is, in a third instance related to soda, he was immediately charged with a felony. The law does not account for the cost of the third theft, and Sobolevsky was arrested and jailed on $ 50,000 bail in cash alone.

He spent seven days locked up and faced seven years in prison under the Three Strikes Act, although his public defender was able to seek his release while the case was resolved.

“This is great news,” Sobolewski told PennLive this week of the clearing of the charges. “I feel like I was treated unequally because I had a record.”

He added in the news that he was “angry” that the 43-cent difference led to a seven-day prison sentence.

PennLive added that Perry County District Attorney Andrew Bender is running for county judge next month. He refused to answer calls from the newspaper.

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