updated 12/29/2008 9:12:09 PM ET 2008-12-30T02:12:09

Eau Claire police said a man accused of stealing a soda worth $1.57 chose to go to jail rather than pay up, even though he was carrying more than $70.

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Police responding to the report of a theft recently say the 27-year-old man appeared drunk. An employee told officers the man had taken a cup from the counter, filled it and began drinking.

When employees told him he had to pay for the drink or leave, the man refused to do either.

A police officer told the man he could pay $1.57 or go to jail, and the man chose jail. The officer handcuffed and searched him, finding the money in his pocket.

The man was issued an ordinance citation for retail theft.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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