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Man charged with felony for stealing soda

April 22, 2012 at 3:36 PM

NAPLES, Fla., April 22 (UPI) -- After leaving a Naples, Fla., McDonald's without paying for a cup of soda, Mark Abaire, 52, is in hot water, facing a felony theft charge, police say.

Abaire walked into the restaurant around 10 p.m. Thursday and asked the employee at the counter if he could have a cup for water. When he was given one, he went to the soda fountain and filled it with soda instead, then left to sit outside. A manager told police he asked Abaire to pay for the soda and he refused, and then remained on the premises after being asked to leave. He then cursed at the manager, prompting them to call the police.

Due to previous petty theft convictions, what would have been a misdemeanor petty theft charge was escalated to a felony, which could earn Abaire up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine. He also faces charges of trespassing and disorderly intoxication, the Daily News (Naples, Fla.) reported.

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