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Careful where you plug in!

http://www.11alive.com/rss/article/314666/3/Electric-car-owner-charged-with-stealing-5-cents-worth-of-juice

CHAMBLEE, Ga. -- One Saturday in November, Kaveh Kamooneh drove his Nissan Leaf to Chamblee Middle School, where his 11-year-old son took was playing tennis.

Kamooneh had taken the liberty of charging the electric car with an exterior outlet at the school. Within minutes of plugging in the car, he says a Chamblee police officer appeared.

"He said that he was going to charge me with theft by taking because I was taking power, electricity from the school," Kamooneh said. Kamooneh says he had charged his car for twenty 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."

Sgt. Ford says the officer should have arrested Kamooneh on the spot. But he didn't. Instead, the officer filed a police report. Then eleven days passed, and two deputies showed up at his house in Decatur. "They arrested me here at about eight o'clock at night," Kamooneh said.

Ford said he sought the arrest warrant after determining that school officials hadn't given Kamooneh permission to plug in his car. Ford said Chamblee Police did so without asking school officials if they wanted to prosecute the alleged theft of electricity. A DeKalb Schools spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Records show Kamooneh spent more than 15 hours in the DeKalb County jail for plugging his car into a school's electrical outlet. Kamooneh acknowledges he hadn't asked permission first. "When I got there, there was nobody there. It was a Saturday morning."

"A theft is a theft," Sgt. Ford said. When asked if he'd make the arrest again, he answered: "Absolutely."
 

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Sadly in the strictest interpretation of the law, this is the case. Sure the amount is likely inconsequential, but in this age of speed-dial ambulance chasers (read: lawyers), everyone is on guard to a fault. Even the DoD, who provides access to electrical outlets for engine block heaters in northern/cold climates, does not allow people to plug in an EV unless there is a charging station explicitly set up for public use. Me personally, I'm too paranoid about something like this happening to plug in without permission. Of course, it doesn't help that I don't like to ask permission either given the number of forceful rejections I have already received...
 

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#1. I'd expect about as much from a Leaf owner..

#2. What a serious waste of tax payer money to have an officer go after somebody for this and everybody else involved in prosecuting the guy just to throw him in jail over a nickel. Major fail on the part of an officer that should be using good judgement in their interpretation of the law, but hey guess the guy is lucky he didn't get shot over it.

#3. The school could've done the right thing and asked the police to drop it too.
 

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We have a good legal system but it's not perfect. This is one of the imperfections. If he plugged his iPhone in to get a charge or a radio would the cop use the same judgement?
 

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WOW. The only question I would like answered is - did the Leaf NEED that charge? Was he in danger of being stranded?

If so shame on the owner for placing himself and son in this situation and maybe he bought the wrong vehicle.
 

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A parking citation might have been more fitting.

Sergeant Ernesto Ford has effectively become a worldwide digital billboard which screams don't get a hotel room in Chamblee, Georgia during your next visit to Atlanta.

What kind of name is Kaveh Kamooneh anyway? Sounds foreign. And the Leaf, well it is a weird looking car. No wonder they arrested him.



...
CORRECTION:

As it turns out, the Leaf driver is a habitual trespasser, his son does not attend the school, and the arrest was warranted.
Note:
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?87250-Electric-car-owner-charged-with-stealing-5-cents-worth-of-juice/page10
 

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We need to work on getting laws enacted to explicitly permit the use of standard outlets for EV charging in public places. There is a net benefit to society. This would almost be excusable if he had been arrested on the spot, since the officer like many people may somehow imagine EVs are able to magically draw tremendous amounts of power from a standard 120V outlet. But the fact that they took the time to follow up with the school, but not to find out how much power he was actually using, is the real head-shaker.
 

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I've been saying it on PlugShare for MONTHS and commenting at every station that I see posted where someone just happens on an 120V plug. Theft is theft. Unless you have explicit permission from someone at the establishment who has the authority to make the decision you are stealing. Yet they keep popping up. "120V outlet in parking garage" "plug by ice cooler out front" "works when parking lot lights are on". Then shortly after someone else comes to use the plug thinking it's ok and out come the "I was unplugged" "outlets have been turned off" and so on.

As more and more people buy EV's the problem is only going to get worse and create a negative image. I urge everyone to report any listings on the many charge listing apps that you find which do not indicate permission was given for them AND anyone else who shows up.
 

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Speaking of plug share, only put up sites that actually share. There is one site near me on plugshare where the lot has explicit signs of "staff parking only". They have one L2 charger. On it is a breaker switch. So, someone can be charged with three counts of misdemeanors if they park, turn on the switch and use the L2 electricity. Very hard to consider using that one if they were to press charges. Cost per kWh could be counted in thousands in lawyer costs :)

For the OP story, it was GA and the guy's name may indicate a bit of possible race hatred in how they handled it.
 

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Was the Leaf owner in the wrong? Technically yes, as he technically stole electricity. The fact a cop showed up within 20 minutes of him plugging in makes me think the Leaf owner had done this numerous times, and someone at the school had noticed and was determined to report him the next time he did it.

I think the police going as far as showing up to his house and arresting him is pretty whack, though. What a waste of man hours and money. I bet you while they were arresting and booking the Leaf owner, dozens of much more serious crimes took place in that town.
 

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Albeit a harsh punishment for the "crime", I agree it is stealing. They should of got permission.
Also the perception of of EVs getting fuel for free does not sit well with the majority of our populous. I'll bet someone saw them plugged in and called the cops.
 

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Ok this is stealing if you were not given direct consent correct?. When you are at an airport and charge your phone from an available outlet I assume the thought is you should be arrested. When you go to a park is it safe to say the facility is at your disposal unless it is posted? Was he illegally using the court also? If not than the outlet is part of the facility. How about when he got thirsty and drank from the available water fountain and consumed water? Don't use TP in a public restroom nor flush the toilet with this mindset. Do not turn a light on either when in public or this could be construed as stealing also. I understand the issue of people that will take advantage and consistently use other peoples outlet instead of there own but is this the case here?
 

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I think the police going as far as showing up to his house and arresting him is pretty whack, though.
I'm surprised that we aren't reading about how a S.W.A.T. showed up, decked out in all their new gear subsidized by Homeland Security, ready to play War-With-Them! Honestly, I think that our society has gone crazy: zero tolerance, "three strikes your out" using marijuana, seven-year old suspended for biting into a pop-tart to make it look like a gun. I could go on but it would make ME crazy.
 

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This to me is bad press for us...

As ridiculous as this is, I would have liked to see this man hold up a nickle on TV and say he wasn't expecting electricity for free. Offer to pay for his use, as little as it was, and work with the school on a solution where they are compensated for any power use. Why, you could probably get a local business to donate the money to cover power costs for a year, no matter who plugs in. This whole situation was handled poorly from the start. When people see a car plugged into an outlet, like the police, they probably think it's a huge power drain, not knowing it's about the same as a coffee pot.

As someone said in another post, people have outdoor outlets on their house, but you don't expect anyone to pull up and use them. Yes, a public place like a school is different.

We recently had an experience with a Leaf owner pulling up to a local business with free charging stations, then walking home. He claimed his Level 2 at home didn't work all the time. But, since this business had two charging stations, and one of them wasn't working all the time, it put actual customers of the business in a bind. This issue was elevated to one of the owners of the business, and his position was that the guy was plugged in and not using oil, so he didn't care. Not all business owners have this attitude about EVs.
 

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Ok this is stealing if you were not given direct consent correct?. When you are at an airport and charge your phone from an available outlet I assume the thought is you should be arrested. When you go to a park is it safe to say the facility is at your disposal unless it is posted? Was he illegally using the court also? If not than the outlet is part of the facility. How about when he got thirsty and drank from the available water fountain and consumed water? Don't use TP in a public restroom nor flush the toilet with this mindset. Do not turn a light on either when in public or this could be construed as stealing also. I understand the issue of people that will take advantage and consistently use other peoples outlet instead of there own but is this the case here?
Stop with the histrionics already. Many EV owners here had this discussion before and some were adamant that they were going to "guerrilla charge" everywhere they could, even though they knew it was not their electricity. This arrest was the obvious result. Look for more of them until EV owners realize that an outlet is not a license to steal.
 

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:D Maybe he was just trying to recoup some of that school tax money we all have to pay in property taxes.
This was a middle school. It's quite often strictly illegal to make use of government resources for private purposes.

Even though they might have turned a blind eye, being a government institution it just takes 1 douchebag hater to report it and the police have to act. There might have been some negotiation and a warning at a private business.

But, this was a middle school, usually close to home. Small town, so it's possible it has a sizable catchment area, but I expect not. Plugging in away from home when you don't need to is generally douchebaggery, and without permission it's total douchebaggery. EDIT: And note that Georgia has a sizable BEV incentive, which is liable to encourage more entitled, thieving douchebag owners.
 

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It's not going to be inconsequential if it becomes commonplace. It's theft. It's like pulling coins out of someone else's pocket or grabbing the waitress's tip off the table and sticking it in your pocket.
 

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Watch the video.

The Leaf owner had admitted charging previously, so it seems these was a planned/pre-arranged arrest based on a complaint by ???.

The Police Chief's official position is "A theft is a theft...(Would) Absolutely (arrest someone again for the same thing)"

The defendant's position is "Not all taking without permission (in society) is theft", giving the example of a water fountain and plans to fight the criminal charges in court.

This could get interesting.

BTW, highly doubt any racial or even EV prejudicial motive. Don't attribute malice where ignorance will do...

It appears just to be a pre-planned arrest, where rather than handle this in a diplomatic way and actually discuss with and learn from the owner, and maybe reach some understanding, and ignorant and aggressive police dept and/or school decided to use legal force as their first mode of operation.

That's the real pathetic side of things.

A similar thing happened to me at a school where I HAD gotten permission in advance from the maintenance staff; but the school superintendent didn't know, and confiscated my EVSE. At least he got a surprise when my car alarm went off. :) He then apologized but also said the school (and it's 85 kW PV system) cannot be used as a charging station, and the electric outlet I used had been disabled. (I found this later to be a lie:)) There is now a new superintendent, as the old one retired...
 
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