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Homeless Man Facing 7 Years in Prison for Shortchanging Store 43 Cents

Joseph Sobolewski, 38, bought a bottle of Mountain Dew from store

 on 23rd September 2021 @ 4.00pm
after the homeless man left  a gas station employee called the police  who later arrested sobolews © press
After the homeless man left, a gas station employee called the police, who later arrested Sobolews

A homeless man could be sent to prison for seven years after he shortchanged a Pennsylvania convenience store for 43 cents.

Joseph Sobolewski, 38, bought a bottle of Mountain Dew when the shortchange happened.

Sobolewski stopped at a gas station in Duncannon when he saw a sign for a 2 for $3 deal on 20-ounce Mountain Dew bottles.

He grabbed a bottle and left $2 on the counter before leaving the shop, PennLive.com reported.

But Sobolewski did not know that a single bottle cost $2.29, not $1.50.

pennsylvania   s three strikes law states that an item stolen under the value of  150 is considered an offense  similar to a speeding ticket © press
Pennsylvania’s three-strikes law states that an item stolen under the value of $150 is considered an offense, similar to a speeding ticket.

This meant he owed the store 43 cents when the sales tax was factored in.

After the homeless man left, a gas station employee called the police, who later arrested Sobolewski.

The Washington Post reported that the man was charged under the state’s “three strikes” law for retail theft.

Pennsylvania’s three-strikes law states that an item stolen under the value of $150 is considered an offense, similar to a speeding ticket.

The second offense under the law is considered a misdemeanor.

sobolewski now faces up to seven years in prison and is being held on a  50 000 bond © press
Sobolewski now faces up to seven years in prison and is being held on a $50,000 bond.

The third offense is considered a third-degree felon, which is the same as stealing an item valued more than $1,000, PennLive.com reported.

Sobolewski now faces up to seven years in prison and is being held on a $50,000 bond.

Over the past decade, Sobolewski has had various run-ins with the police, including stealing a pair of $40 shoes at a Kmart in 2011.

He also spent three months in jail for violating his probation and was ordered to pay $866 in fines and fees.

Pennsylvania State Police spokeswoman Trooper Megan Ammerman said authorities were following state law after Sobolewski was arrested.

“Troopers cannot decide to not charge someone for a criminal case; only victims of certain crimes can decline charges,” Ammerman said.

“If we are called to an incident involving a crime, we follow and enforce the PA Crimes Code.”

Sobolewski’s court hearing is scheduled for November.

[READ MORE] Los Angeles Sheriff Urges State of Emergency on Homelessness: 'Enough Is Enough’

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tags: homeless | Crime
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