In metro Atlanta, five cents can get you 15 hours behind bars.
That was the hard lesson that Kaveh Kamooneh learned last month after he was arrested for theft. What did he steal? Five cents worth of electricity.
While watching his 11-year-old son play tennis, Kamooneh decided to charge his Nissan Leaf using an outlet near the courts at the school where his son was playing.
Shortly after plugging in, a Chamblee, Ga. police officer rolled up with a few questions about what he was doing.
“He said that he was going to charge me with theft by taking because I was taking power, electricity from the school,” Kamooneh told WXIA, an Atlanta television station.
Kamooneh says he had charged his car for twenty minutes, which is about a nickel’s worth of electricity, according to Clean Cities Atlanta, an electric vehicle advocacy group.
However, the value of what was stolen was not at issue, but the fact that Kamooneh had not secured permission from the school to use the outlets was. Eleven days later, he was arrested and held for 15 hours before being released.
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“I think that it’s an electric car is not relevant,” said Chamblee police Sergeant Ernesto Ford. “I think what’s relevant here is this man took something that was not his.”
Kamooneh’s dilemma is not an uncommon one for EV owners: where to get a charge if away from home and no public charging station is available. There are only about 6,800 public charging stations nationwide.
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While Kamooneh appears to be a sympathetic figure here, he did have options. The school is surrounded by homes, perhaps he could have asked a neighbor or he could have gone to the public charging station at Capital City Nissan…in Chamblee, Ga., which is half a mile away.
In fact, according to PlugShare.com, there are eight public charging stations within five miles of the middle school and three residential units within two miles.
Tags: Atlanta electric car, Chamblee Ga., Georgia electricity theft, Kaveh Kamooneh, Leaf owner, Nissan EV news, TheDetroitBureau.com., auto news, car news, electricity thief, ev news, michael strong, nissan, nissan leaf, thedetroitbureau