Electric car owner arrested for ‘stealing’ 5 cents of power

Not since Arlo Guthrie found himself behind bars in the "Alice's Restaurant Masacree" has an alleged miscreant been locked up over so little: Demonstrating a shocking lack of common sense, police in Georgia recently arrested a man for "stealing" electricity from a school where he plugged his car in for 20 minutes during his son's tennis match.
Value of the allegedly stolen goods: 5 cents, according to one expert, though I'm sure your mileage may vary.
"He said that he was going to charge me with theft by taking because I was taking power, electricity from the school," Kaveh Kamooneh told a Georgia television station. Kamooneh says he had charged his car for 20 minutes, drawing about a nickel's worth of juice. Don Francis of Clean Cities Atlanta, an electric vehicle advocacy group, says the estimate of five cents is accurate.
"I'm not sure how much electricity he stole," said Chamblee police Sergeant Ernesto Ford, but he added: It doesn't matter. "He broke the law. He stole something that wasn't his."
Call me soft on crime if you like, but I'm thinking that a warning would have sufficed in this case. And, yes, I can imagine all kinds of scenarios where charging your car on someone else's dime might rise to the level of a crime. That's an issue that will need to be addressed as the use of electric cars grows.

But this isn't your test case.
While the police officer says he could have arrested Kamooneh right then and there, that's not what happened. Instead, the Chamblee police - having apparently eradicated real crime in their community -- actually "investigated" and once they discovered that Kamooneh did not have permission to plug in, went to his home and arrested him. Eleven days after the alleged theft. Made him do the perp walk. And the man spent more than 15 hours in county lockup. Yes, really. Continue reading

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