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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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oldredneckman96 12/06/13 - 08:36 pm
Theft of services

This story has enough leggs that the A/C should check out the whole story, it is all over the internet complete with videos. Do a real study of this A/C, get to the heart if you aren't scared. Let these bleading hearts who think the thief is a saint see the rest of the story. Let them learn what stealing is. Most apparently do not know. The only difference between a thief who steals a million and one who make off with a nickel is luck and only luck. Both are criminals.

oldredneckman96 12/07/13 - 10:44 pm
Read the Police Report

We received a 911 call advising that someone was plugged into the power outlet behind the middle school. The responding officer located the vehicle in the rear of the building at the kitchen loading dock up against the wall with a cord run to an outlet. The officer spent some time trying to determine whose vehicle it was. It was unlocked and he eventually began looking through the interior after verifying it did not belong to the school system.

The officer, his marked patrol vehicle and the electric vehicle were all in clear view of the tennis courts. Eventually, a man on the courts told the officer that the man playing tennis with him owned the vehicle. The officer went to the courts and interviewed the vehicle owner. The officer's initial incident report gives a good indication of how difficult and argumentative the individual was to deal with. He made no attempt to apologize or simply say oops and he wouldn't do it again. Instead he continued being argumentative, acknowledged he did not have permission and then accused the officer of having damaged his car door. The officer told him that was not true and that the vehicle and existing damage was already on his vehicles video camera from when he drove up.

Given the uncooperative attitude and accusations of damage to his vehicle, the officer chose to document the incident on an incident report. The report was listed as misdemeanor theft by taking. The officer had no way of knowing how much power had been consumed, how much it cost nor how long it had been charging.

The report made its way to Sgt Ford's desk for a follow up investigation. He contacted the middle school and inquired of several administrative personnel whether the individual had permission to use power. He was advised no. Sgt. Ford showed a photo to the school resource officer who recognized Mr. Kamooneh. Sgt Ford was further advised that Mr. Kamooneh had previously been advised he was not allowed on the school tennis courts without permission from the school . This was apparently due to his interfering with the use of the tennis courts previously during school hours.

Based upon the totality of these circumstances and without any expert advice on the amount of electricity that may have been used, Sgt Ford signed a theft warrant. The warrant was turned over to the DeKalb Sheriffs Dept for service because the individual lived in Decatur, not Chamblee. This is why he was arrested at a later time.

I am sure that Sgt. Ford was feeling defensive when he said a theft is a theft and he would do it again. Ultimately, Sgt. Ford did make the decision to pursue the theft charges, but the decision was based on Mr. Kamooneh having been advised that he was not allowed on the property without permission. Had he complied with that notice none of this would have occurred. Mr. Kamooneh's son is not a student at the middle school and he was not the one playing tennis. Mr. Kamooneh was taking lessons himself.

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