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A local man has been arrested for stealing seventeen thousand dollars worth of Pepsi in one month from the bottling plant where he worked. Putting aside the most obvious question — "who would be crazy enough to steal Pepsi?" — the second most pressing question becomes "how much Pepsi will $17,000 buy?"

Since The Newnan Times-Herald gives no actual details of the crime other than the dollar amount, let's do some dirty math based on the most expensive container of Pepsi I can buy locally. A single serving 12-oz can from a vending machine goes for $1, setting the price at about 8¢ per ounce. That makes $17,000 worth of Pepsi more than 212,000 ounces, enough to fill nearly 1,500 12-packs.

My estimate above was retail prices. The bottler does offer catering services, so it is possible they charge by the drink somewhere. However it's more likely that the cost reported was the wholesale price. If that's the case, double that estimate to 3,000 12-packs. That's enough Pepsi to fill an average swimming pool!

Keep in mind that both of those estimates are set by the $1/can price. For all I know, that stolen Pepsi was syrup for soda fountains. That brings the per-ounce cost down to half-a-cent per ounce. At that price, we're talking a theft of over 2,200 gallons of Pepsi, approximately 80 tons! (While this amount is unlikely, keep in mind that Americans do drink over 36 million gallons of carbonated soda every day, so there is a lot of Pepsi out there to steal!)

Whatever the true numbers, this is just another case demonstrating that most criminals are stupid. It may be one thing to think you can get away with sneaking an occasional pen from the office, but you have to expect someone to notice when you back a tanker truck up to your cubicle.

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To be continued...


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