FILED IN: Weird News

Man steals soda from McDonald's, gets charged with felony

Florida man could face up to five years in prison for stealing $1 soda do to prior theft convictions

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We’ve all seen people try it at the fast food counter. A customer asks for a free cup of water then slyly sneaks a refill of fountain soda instead.

A Naples, Fla. McDonald’s employee claims that was exactly what Mark Abaire, 52, did last week when he received a courtesy cup from the restaurant. Unfortunately for Abaire, he has two prior theft convictions, which means his petty theft charge was upped from a misdemeanor to a felony under Florida’s ‘three strikes’ statute.

As of this weekend, Abaire remained in police custody with bond set at $6,500. A third-degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine in the Sunshine State.

According to a police report, Abaire walked into the McDonald’s Thursday night and asked for a cup of water. He filled the cup with soda instead, even though his server said it was only for water, and then sat outside the restaurant.

The Naples News reported that a manager asked Abaire to pay for the soda, valued at $1, which he declined. A verbal altercation followed and Abaire refused to leave the premises.  County authorities arrested him later that night.

In addition to the theft charge, Abaire faces additional misdemeanor counts of trespassing and disorderly intoxication.