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Arkansas Man Charged With Robbery for Stealing Soda

Posted on in Retail Theft

robbery, Lake County criminal defense lawyerFor many people, the temptation is simply too great. They go into a fast-food restaurant or other establishment with a self-service soda fountain, and order ice water with their meal. When they think no one is looking, they fill their water cup with soda or tea, effectively saving themselves the cost of a soft drink. While most realize that such actions are not exactly condoned, they would probably not expect to face serious criminal charges as a result. For one young man in Arkansas, that is almost exactly what happened.

How It Happened

According to news reports, a trio of young men ordered large cups of water from McDonald’s in Springdale, Arkansas, last month. The group then parked, entered the restaurant, dumped out the water, and filled the cups with soda from a self-serve station. The store manager confronted the group, and two of the individuals complied with his request to dispose of the stolen drinks. The third, however, fled the store and jumped into the car.

Two McDonald’s employees followed the 18-year-old man outside and attempted to prevent the car from leaving. The man reportedly struck one of the employees with the car as he tried to pull away. He was arrested by police later that day and charged with one count of felony robbery.

Robbery in Illinois

While this incident occurred in Arkansas, a similar situation could easily happen here in Illinois. The Illinois Criminal Code defines robbery as taking another’s property from his or her “person or presence by the use of force or by threatening the imminent use of force.” In the situation described above, the police confirmed that “the theft became a robbery when the alleged suspect used force to resist apprehension by the store employees.”

In Illinois, robbery is a Class 2 felony, punishable by a prison sentence of between three and seven years, and fines of up to $25,000. The threat of a firearm or other weapon, the nature of the stolen property or victim, and the location of the offense can lead to charges of aggravated robbery, which is a Class 1 felony.

Legal Assistance

If you or a family member is currently facing charges related to robbery, theft, shoplifting, or other property crime, contact an experienced Lake County criminal defense lawyer. You may have a number of options for avoiding a conviction, and we can help you decide the best way to proceed. Call the Law Offices of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C., today and put us to work in protecting your future.





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