Felony charge dropped against man who shortchanged store 43 cents for Mountain Dew

Felony charge dropped against man who shortchanged store 43 cents for Mountain Dew
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Felony charges have been dropped against a homeless man who shortchanged a convenience store 43 cents for a bottle of Mountain Dew. 

PennLive.com reported Tuesday that Perry County prosecutors have dropped the theft charge and downgraded another charge against Joseph Sobolewski. 

Sobolewski, 38, walked into an Exxon gas station in ​​Duncannon in August after seeing a sign for a 2 for $3 deal on 20-ounce Mountain Dew bottles. 

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Sobolewski grabbed a bottle and left $2 on the counter before walking out, not realizing that a single bottle of the beverage cost $2.29, not $1.50, meaning he still owned the store 43 cents when factoring in sales tax, according to PennLive.com. 

A gas station employee called police, who tracked down and arrested Sobolewski on a felony charge. 

Magisterial District Judge Jackie Leister ordered him to be held on a $50,000 cash-only bond and he was held in jail for seven days before his attorney successfully argued for his release, PennLive.com reported. 

Sobolewski has had several run-ins with the law in the past decade, being charged twice with theft for not paying for a tank of gas and another time for stealing a pair of shoes from a department store. 

According to Pennsylvania’s three-strikes law, a third theft charge must be a felony regardless of the valued amount stolen, according to the newspaper. 

Sobolewski told the newspaper that he’s happy his felony charge was being dismissed in court, saying that he was treated unfairly. 

“That’s great news,” Sobolewski said. “I feel I was treated unequally because I had a record.”

Sobolewski was facing up to seven years in prison for the crime committed, PennLive.com noted.