A Pennsylvania man could spend the next 7 years behind bars – over 43 cents.
Police say Joseph Sobolewski bought a 20-ounce Mountain Dew from a convenience store and paid two dollars before walking out. But since the price for the soda was $2.29, he technically underpaid by 43 cents, including sales tax.
That 43 cents was enough to charge him with felony theft and could send him to prison for seven years under the state’s three-strikes law. Now many want to know why the store is pressing charges over such a small amount, calling it a waste of taxpayer money.
A homeless man was arrested for a 43-cent “theft” of a Mountain Dew.
He could face 7 years in prison. https://t.co/iOpfOT1gX3
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) September 21, 2021
It’s also possible it was a misunderstanding – the sodas were advertised as 2 for $3, so Sobolewski – who is homeless – might not have known he was underpaying.
Should ‘three strikes’ laws factor in the severity of the crime? Have you ever been accidentally underpaid for something?