Man arrested for stealing 5 cents of electricity while charging his car

nissan leaf

Kaveh Kamooneh was arrested in Georgia and kept for 15 hours after he “stole” 5 cents worth of electricity from the Chamblee Middle School.

Kamooneh had parked his Nissan Leaf and was charging it at a nearby outlet while watching his son play tennis when a police officer, who was clearly on a very important mission to stop people from taking even the barest amount of electricity without paying for it, told him to stop and then filed a report. He also sought an arrest warrant, because of course as a police officer a man stealing a tiny bit of electricity is at the top of the list when it comes to crimes, and 11 days later Kamooneh was arrested.

“People charge laptops or cell phones at public outlets all the time, and no one’s ever been arrested for that,” Kamooneh said in an interview with Atlanta’s Channel 11 News.

The police officer, Sergeant Ernesto Ford, stands by his decision and essentially uses the old stealing is stealing mentality for doing so. “I’m not sure how much electricity he stole,” Ford said. “He broke the law. He stole something that wasn’t his.”

As it turns out, Kamooneh stole a whopping 5 cents worth of electricity.

As ridiculous as this story is, electric cars are becoming more popular, and it raises the issue of charging your car without the approval of the owner of that electricity you use. We are guessing countries with high number of electric cars will soon have to enact laws to stop us from going mad.

[via The Verge, Atlanta Channel 11 News, image via mariordo59’s flickr]

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  • charliechan


    Mags, I’m from Canada also, the RCMP are all over the country, not just in the north and Ottawa. They have headquarters in every major city. We don’t have a provincial police form in Manitoba, we just got the RCMP.

  • Peter

    I love this sentence: “He stole something that wasn’t his.” (see tautology and/or redundancy).
    Guess the officer achieved his goal: craving for recognition by demonstrating his power unequivocally.

  • Mike S.

    Sorry to be contrary to perhaps common sense here, but if the father plugged his car into a regular outside wall outlet as opposed to a marked charging station, really, should he have done that and shouldn’t he have known better?

    But having said that, what’s wrong with just telling the dude, “Come on, dude, knock it off” rather than making a formal case it of it. Does everything in life nowadays have to be taken an extra step and be made into a federal case? What’s wrong with, dare I say it, just talking person-to-person?

  • Mags

    Well guess I’m not the only one disappointed with police forces. Here we have 2, the local police and the provincial police. The federal police (RCMP) are mostly up north and in Ottawa.

    Both forces here are cr*p just like previous posters. So it isn’t just you, it seems to be everywhere.

  • etim

    If you don’t want the public to have free access to a service then don’t leave it freely accessible. You don’t leave gas pumps or piles of money out in the open and free for the taking, do you?
    I wonder if there was even a sign saying something like “not for public use”?

  • JonE

    [@Ed] Oh I don’t know about that Ed; this kind of thing is happening in lots of other communities across the nation. We have similar problems in my local and how about Tallahassee Florida? They’ve been in the news lately; it seems that in Tallahassee it doesn’t matter what you did, but who you are that matters. And the Federal Government is just as bad. They’ve been giving our tax dollars to those who have done nothing to deserve it whilst they will not help those who really need the help. And that’s been going on for decades and the biggest reason that governments are broke and police departments are being ordered by local government to supplement the government coffers any way they can. But even then it seems they always go after the wrong people. I sat at a traffic light one day, years ago and watched, and I counted, eight people bust a red light. What is significant about that is that there were, by sheer coincidence, count em, three, yes three law enforcement officials at that intersection, at the same time; a City Kitty, County Mounty, and a Full Grown Bear and not one of them went after any of the violators. Also in my community the local police don’t go after and arrest the hookers – Oh No they don’t! They go after the John’s and publish their names in the local paper. This is a part of their anti-drug program. Now I don’t think these John’s are too danged smart to be hooking up with these street prostitutes, but on the other hand prostitution has been around long before Sodemn and Gomora and will still be around long after we are gone. But our local constabulary thinks the best way to control that and in the long run some how bring drug use and distribution under control is to arrest John’s and publicly humiliate them.

    I do feel your pain Ed and I’m sure many other do as well from many other communities across this nation. Seems like government and this society is completely backwards of what it was when I was a kid.

    And Kaveh could have saved himself a lot of grief if he would have just asked permission. Yes, I think his arrest was ridiculous, but if he would have just gotten permission he would have spared himself the whole ordeal. But, it seems that society as a whole seems to think that they deserve things and don’t have to bother with common courtesy and simple etiquette. At the same time I wonder if he had gotten permission from a school official what kind of quagmire that official would have gotten themselves into. There would certainly be some self serving, sanctimonious journalist that would squeeze ever drop out of it that they could, no matter who it hurt. Yet another example of a society gone haywire.

    This is more than opinion, but it is my opinion.

  • Seamus McSeamus

    Wow! It’s great that crime is so low there that the police have to harass people over a nickel’s worth of electricity in order to keep busy. When did they solve all the murders and other serious crimes?

    If I lived in Chamblee, GA I’d find out who this cop is and steer clear of him. He’s cut from the same cloth as the cops who kill kids because they have a toy gun in their hand, or give cavity searches because someone is standing funny.

  • Ed

    Although it may be considered petty larceny, 5 cents? give me a f!cking break.
    Living in Atlanta myself I can tell you first hand that things like this are first on the list for Atlanta police, meanwhile a robbery or rape can happen right in front of their face and they will disregard it. It has to be one of the worst police forces in the country.
    The ONLY thing any police force in the state of Georgia is worried about is “revenue enhancement”, lets forget about the bigger crimes and dig our hands into the citizens pockets. They will nickel and dime you to f!cking death here.