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Electric car owner arrested for taking power

Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 2:58 PM
Last updated 7:08 PM
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CHAMBLEE, Ga. — A motorist who plugged his electric car into an outlet at a school near Atlanta is facing a theft charge, sparking debate about where and when it’s acceptable to use power.

Kaveh Kamooneh of Decatur tells WXIA-TV that he charged his Nissan Leaf for 20 minutes, drawing about a nickel’s worth of electricity while playing tennis at Chamblee Middle School last month. It resulted in a 15-hour jail stay.

Chamblee Police Chief Marc Johnson tells The Associated Press that the outlet was not a charging station.

“It’s no different from him pulling up in your carport and saying, ‘Hey, I see an outlet,’” the police chief said Thursday.

But the case is drawing plenty of debate from owners of electric cars and others, many of whom are criticizing police.

Johnson said Thursday that he’s received emails approaching about 700 including “probably 15 that were positive.”

Chris Campbell of the Electric Vehicle Club says he hadn’t heard of such a case before.

“It’s stunning that somebody would get arrested for 5 cents of electricity,” Campbell told WSB-TV.

Kamooneh acknowledges that he didn’t ask permission to charge the car. “When I got there, there was nobody there. It was a Saturday morning,” he told WXIA.

“He wasn’t supposed to have been there to start with,” the police chief said.

When a Chamblee police sergeant contacted Chamblee Middle School later, a school resource officer said Kamooneh was not allowed on the school tennis courts without permission from school employees.

“This was reportedly due to his interference with the use of the tennis courts previously during school hours,” Chamblee police said in a statement.

Kamooneh says he is scheduled to face a judge in February.

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rdbike
47
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rdbike 12/05/13 - 04:25 pm
8
3
Stealing is Stealing!

He wasn't suppose to be on the property, that's trespassing. Then he plugs his car up to recharge without permission, that's stealing. The man ought to be thankful he is only facing one charge instead of 2. Maybe these electric car owner's and potential owner's should think about where are the going to be able to recharge their car before the buy them. Just because they don't use gas to power the vehicle, it still takes energy to make them move. Electricity isn't free!

fishman960
1492
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fishman960 12/05/13 - 04:43 pm
10
4
Theft of juice

What differentiates between charging a car and charging a mobile device such as an Iphone or laptop? I see people jacked in at what is obviously not their property all the time. As the first post said, "stealing is stealing."

Sweet son
10739
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Sweet son 12/05/13 - 06:14 pm
6
8
This story is not about a few cents worth of electricity! It's

about him using 'their' tennis courts without their 'permission.' If there was a problem with this guy and the courts he should have been simply told not to use them which would constitute a criminal trespass warning. The school is just using the Police Department to do something they didn't have the gumption to do!

Pitiful nit nothing criminal charge! The PD and the school admin should be ashamed!

Quote from the PD Chief about plugging into your carport outlet didn't even make sense. Pitiful!

thauch12
6857
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thauch12 12/05/13 - 07:00 pm
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4
Not so fast...

I'm not quite so sure it is as cut and dry as some may suggest...

1. Assuming the man pays property taxes, he technically "pays" for the electricity in a certain sense. I wouldn't go so far as to say it gives him the right to charge his car on school grounds whenever he feels like it, but the police chief's example comparing this to charging one's car in someone's personal carport isn't really an accurate comparison.

2. In either case, was all this really necessary? It may have been 5 cents of energy, but this is going to cause the taxpayers THOUSANDS of dollars in court costs to prosecute. I am not entirely convinced this is the best use of our already limited resources. There may have been better ways to handle the situation.

3. I am not sure we have the entire back story with the guy not being allowed to be at the tennis courts, especially when it was not school hours.

It should be interesting to see how this plays out and how much money is wasted in the process.

Sweet son
10739
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Sweet son 12/05/13 - 08:03 pm
9
3
@thauch

I agree with all that you said! This incident should have been handled administratively without law enforcement being involved. I really don't understand so many thumbs down because it means to me that they are not looking at the bottom line which is costs associated with putting this guy in the criminal justice system.

GiantsAllDay
9853
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GiantsAllDay 12/05/13 - 08:03 pm
10
1
When I was a kid, we would go

When I was a kid, we would go to the local high school on Saturdays and
-shoot baskets on the outdoor courts.
-run around the track
-play tennis
-play softball
What has changed over the years? Please, someone fill me in.

oldredneckman96
5115
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oldredneckman96 12/05/13 - 08:46 pm
6
3
Stealing
Unpublished

You come home and someone is in your pool, their RV plugged into your outlet. No problem, right? You are a nice guy you tell them to leave when they are done. End of Story? No, next weekend they are back, and the next. Well, now we get to the thief. He was using the tennis courts after the school had asked him repeatedly to leave for interfering with school functions. He was stealing electricity too. That means he is not paying the road taxes for the energy used to drive to the school he was stealing from. (Put the wrong color fuel in your truck and see what happens.) The time that got him arrested was not the first time police had asked him to leave. Police record keeping matched up the times he had been contacted for the same trespassing and theft of services. This along with the offensive manner he took with the police made them decide to arrest him so he would understand he can not trespass and steal public property. This thief had many options to avoid his 15 hours in jail. One last thought, could he be the next Sandy Hook shooter? Do you want the police to ignore every bum they see trespassing and stealing at your child’s school?

nocnoc
45017
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nocnoc 12/05/13 - 09:13 pm
4
4
20mins of Car Juice is more that a Nickel

Maybe a dime.

But not enough to warrant $1,000 in Administrative paper work.

Plug In America estimates that it will cost $2 to $4 to fully charge an all-electric car, like the Nissan LEAF, which travels about 100 miles (160.9 kilometers). An it takes 5-7 hours for a 2011-2013 LEAF with the standard 3.3kw charger. to fully recharge.

GnipGnop
12466
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GnipGnop 12/05/13 - 09:51 pm
9
4
I think this could have been handle better...

Sir, you are not allowed to use the tennis courts and you can't plug your car into a outlet just anywhere...have a nice day sir and remember if we catch you here again we can charge you with criminal trespass. Was that so hard?

Little Lamb
46971
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Little Lamb 12/05/13 - 10:12 pm
4
2
120V electric outlets

Schools, parks, auditoriums, and other public venues had better start securing their 120V electric outlets just as they are securing their water spigots. We citizens are sneaky.

dichotomy
34448
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dichotomy 12/05/13 - 10:40 pm
6
3
Who knows, maybe the police

Who knows, maybe the police were just establishing a point of order on this "plug in anywhere you see an outlet" thing. A nickel's worth here, a dime's worth there and pretty soon you are driving for free on someone else's electric bill in addition to not paying any road taxes.

scoopdedoop64
2425
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scoopdedoop64 12/05/13 - 10:47 pm
7
2
It seems to me that a warning

It seems to me that a warning could have been given in such a case. However, I would be more concerned about the trespassing charge because if he did not have permission to be there then he knew better and charging the car at the same time just added insult to injury. The most good that could come from this is that it will be a warning for future cases.

KSL
134544
Points
KSL 12/06/13 - 01:24 am
4
2
Evidently a warning did not

Evidently a warning did not work in regards to the tennis courts.

KSL
134544
Points
KSL 12/06/13 - 01:37 am
4
3
Can you imagine the number of

Can you imagine the number of electric car owners who would be plugging in to othes if he just got a slap on the wrist.

Heaven help a vacant house owner who keeps the utilities on to sell their house.

KSL
134544
Points
KSL 12/06/13 - 02:00 am
3
2
A case of making law

Get case law on the books about this kind of theft quickly!

specsta
6592
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specsta 12/06/13 - 02:02 am
5
4
20,000 People Die Every Day From Hunger...Meanwhile

This is the problem - the police see everyone as criminals. And the police state abounds. People are arrested and locked up for nonsense. Totally disgusting.

People are homeless, folks are dying from disease because they have no health care, millions in the world are starving to death, cancer still exists, wars destroy babies and children - and somebody is worried about five cents worth of electricity??? To the point of incarceration?

The whole justice system is sick, sick, sick and needs to be reborn.

KSL
134544
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KSL 12/06/13 - 02:03 am
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1
AC

Please get that danged yellow box out of the way of posting.

KSL
134544
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KSL 12/06/13 - 02:13 am
6
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specsta

The issue of homeless people has nothing to do with a person stealing by plugging in his nice new electric car while he is playing tennis.

KSL
134544
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KSL 12/06/13 - 02:18 am
4
3
Specsta

Please provide your sources for the number of starving who die. I would like a breakdowm. Are your sources counting drunks and addicts who rather partake of their addictions. Proof, please.

corgimom
34079
Points
corgimom 12/06/13 - 07:05 am
5
2
He's a cheap you-know-what

He's a cheap you-know-what that likes to steal electricity. Why didn't he charge his car at his house?

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
9168
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 12/06/13 - 07:44 am
7
2
Picked Apart

So far everyone's picked pieces of this article to comment on. Let's look at the entire pie.
1 He had already been told not to use the courts due to problems with him previously.
2 It was Saturday morning, why didn't he charge up overnight at his home? Lack of planning on his part.
3 Theft is theft and the school has an annual budget they have to live within, yes it taxpayer dollars, but, what about the guy who only needs 20 gallons of the school systems gas? Does that make it any better?

Sean Moores
717
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Sean Moores 12/06/13 - 09:41 am
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0
@KSL 1:03

I'm working on it. Sorry. The settings must be off.

robert2410
1628
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robert2410 12/06/13 - 10:28 am
4
0
I believe the person who said
Unpublished

I believe the person who said this may be the police setting a point of order is correct. It is most likely a warning to others to not assume you can just plug in anywhere. As more cars go electric, if the trend continues, this will probably become an issue more often.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 12/06/13 - 10:46 am
1
1
When a kid lifts a piece of

When a kid lifts a piece of bubble gum in the store while mom shops, if they don't get caught, they grow up and steal .05 cents of electricity from the public. That's what I get from this.

lgr
236
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lgr 12/06/13 - 10:48 am
2
0
wow

get the danged advertisement off the screen. no matter how many times you close it it comes back

oldredneckman96
5115
Points
oldredneckman96 12/06/13 - 10:54 am
3
1
When it is stealing
Unpublished

Some folks posting here do not understand when you are stealing and when you are invited to partake. When you are invited in to a fast food restaurant, an airport, or a mall you are entitled to use the facilities, that includes the restrooms, water fountains and outlets. When you break-in or trespass you have committed a crime, stealing only adds to the charges. As to the cost to prosecute this crime, that is just not a metric we should ever consider. You can not put a price on freedom, freedom from crime. The bum that was trespassing and stealing at the school got less than he deserved. Paying taxes does not give you uncontrolled access to public property.

itsanotherday1
45437
Points
itsanotherday1 12/06/13 - 12:02 pm
3
3
I agree with Thauch. It is

I agree with Thauch. It is like the military shooting a million dollar missile to take out a man on a camel. It sends a message, but at what cost?
Since he had been warned already, a citation for trespass would have sufficed.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
9168
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 12/06/13 - 12:31 pm
3
1
Electricity in public places.

Unless there is a sign inviting you to connect you can be prosecuted for theft. Almost all places of business that allow that have signs posted. Don't just assume that you can, I would still ask. We all know what assuming does!!

mrenee2003
2946
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mrenee2003 12/06/13 - 12:48 pm
3
3
As already stated

by fishman, what's the difference b/t plugging in a car or a phone? I see parents plugging in their phones/laptops/tablets all of the time on public school property (and they are not using it for school business). It was my u/s that school property is public property and can be used by anyone when school is not in session, so it's not trespassing no matter what school authorities want.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 12/06/13 - 03:48 pm
3
2
Hopefully the medicaid
Unpublished

Hopefully the medicaid patients who crowd the ER will take not of this story as they plug their tax payer funded smart phones in while socializing in the triage area.

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