Electric car owner arrested, held in jail over stealing 5 cents worth of energy

Will Lerner
Odd NewsDecember 4, 2013

Last month, while at Chamblee Middle School (where his son attends), Georgia resident Kaveh Kamooneh plugged his Nissan Leaf into an exterior outlet,something he’s done before. After stepping away he noticed someone was in his car. As WXIA 11 Alive News reports, what happened next has him understandably frustrated.

View photos

The man in his electric car was a member of the Chamblee Police Department. According to Mr. Kamooneh, the officer said, “he was going to charge me with ‘theft by taking’ because I was taking power, electricity from the school.” How long had he been charging the car? 20 minutes. The officer didn’t arrest Kamooneh at that moment. Instead, a police report was filed and 11 days later, police came to his home in the evening and arrested him. He spent fifteen hours in the DeKalb County Jail before being released. Again, this was all because he had, without permission, plugged his car into an exterior outlet .

WXIA spoke to Sergeant Ernesto Ford with the Chamblee PD about the matter. Ford told them, “He got arrested, yes…He broke the law. He stole something that wasn’t his, yes.” When WXIA informed Sergeant Ford that the 20 minutes probably only resulted in about 5 cents worth of electricity, the officer did not budge, telling them, “A theft is a theft.”

View photos

Kaveh pointed out to WXIA how silly this is, “I agree that theft is theft. I don’t agree that every taking without consent is theft…There’s no record of them arresting anybody for drinking water, for example, out of a spigot, which is taking without consent. In fact, I informed the police that someone had done that. He was uninterested in pursuing that.” He also pointed out how cellphones and laptops are regularly charged at businesses by their owners without the seeking of permission first.

Mr. Kamooneh plans on fighting the charges. As for the middle school in question, DeKalb County School District spokesman Quinn Hudson released a statement that says they have “cooperated in the investigation and will continue to do so."

More info: WXIA (pt. 1), WXIA (pt.2)