Dew The Time: Soda Heist Lands Homeless Man Behind Bars

A Pennsylvania man looking to quench his thirst didn’t just do the Dew, he also had to do the time. Joseph Sobolewski, 38, was jailed after shorting a convenience store 43 cents for a bottle of caffeine, and now he faces seven years behind bars.

Sobolewski opted to quench his thirst in a convenience store that was advertising a special on Mountain Dew: two 20-oz. bottles for $3. Per PennLive, Sobolewski took one 20-oz. bottle, put two dollars on the counter and walked out of the store. After he exited the store, an idiot employee with all the power of an apron and a front door key called police to report a “theft.” As it turns out, a single bottle of Dew cost $2.29, plus tax. Meaning, Sobolewski shorted the store by an amount of change most people can find stuck between the seats of their car.

Police then tracked down Sobolewski, who is homeless, and placed him under arrest. Since Sobolewski has previously been arrested, the recent theft could fall under the state’s “three-strikes law,” which generally throws the book at repeat offenders. The Pennsylvania Dew poacher was charged with a felony, and if convicted, could face three and a half to seven years in prison.

The fact that a sum less than two quarters could put Sobolewski behind bars for years irks Brandon Flood, director of the state’s Board of Parole: “For me, I would get the deterrent factor if someone’s thefts were getting worse or higher in value. But the lack of discretion is what bothers me. It’s problematic because it doesn’t factor in the amount.”

Sobolewski’s rap sheet doesn’t exactly mirror Al Capone’s. He was previously arrested for leaving a gas station without paying, swiping a pair of K-Mart sneakers almost 10 years ago, and pocketing some crafts from Hobby Lobby.

Sobolweski is scheduled to face charges in November, and he’s thirsty for an acquittal.


Written by Anthony Farris

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