by Matt Agorist, The Free Thought Project:
Perry County, PA — When Joseph Sobolewski got thirsty last month, he saw a sign in a nearby convenience store that was advertising two 20-ounce Mountain Dew bottles for $3. Sobolewksi only wanted one bottle, so he grabbed it, threw down two $1 bills — thinking he’d left a tip — and walked out of the store. Now he’s facing 7 years in prison over it.
Because Sobolewski didn’t realize that the sale price only applied to the two-bottle deal, instead of leaving a tip like he thought, he was actually short. A single bottle costs $2.29 and with tax applied, he was actually $0.43 short.
Instead of simply realizing the error and chalking it up to a harmless mistake, the store called the police — over 43 cents. According to police, the store clerk followed Sobolewski out of the store and told him that $2.00 was not enough, but when he did the math for a $1.50 soda, it was more than enough, so he drove off.