Could you imagine cops in New York or Chicago doing this? They’d be busting a gut laughing if they were to read this. You just can’t make this shit up.

One Saturday in November, Kaveh Kamooneh drove his Nissan Leaf to Chamblee Middle School, where his 11-year-old son 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 20 minutes, drawing about a nickel’s worth of juice. Don Francis of Clean Cities Atlanta, an electric vehicle advocacy group, says the estimate of 5 cents is accurate.

And as if that weren’t crazy enough:

Ford said Chamblee Police did so without asking school officials if they wanted to prosecute the alleged theft of electricity.

Found by Brother Uncle Don



  1. gmunni says:

    Why is this hard to believe? Ever met a cop? They became a cop for a reason. Would you be a cop? why not?

    • dusanmal says:

      Very repeatable psychological tests say (somewhat) opposite: if you get assigned a “cop” or “guard” or “person in power” role, no matter how your previous disposition was, over a short time you get power abuse psychology. Some may go in for a reason. However, decades of psychological tests say – inevitably all will turn abusive from the power given to them. All. That is why it is important to give Government (and hence Police) minimal needed power so that society can reign them in. Nanny State=Police State.

      • Tim says:

        Hmm. Learned helplessness + learned asshatness + electricity?

        “Oh, Lord; Bless this Thy link that with it Thou mayest cover a multitude of pointles, petulant, and putrescent tangents, in Thy mercy…”

        “”On August 20, 1971, Zimbardo announced the end of the experiment to the participants. The results of the experiment have been argued to demonstrate the impressionability and obedience of people when provided with a legitimizing ideology and social and institutional support. The experiment has also been used to illustrate cognitive dissonance theory and the power of authority.

        The results of the experiment favor situational attribution of behavior rather than dispositional attribution. In other words, it seemed that the situation, rather than their individual personalities, caused the participants’ behavior. Under this interpretation, the results are compatible with the results of the Milgram experiment, in which ordinary people fulfilled orders to administer what appeared to be agonizing and dangerous electric shocks to a confederate of the experimenter.

        Shortly after the study had been completed, there were bloody revolts at both the San Quentin and Attica prison facilities, and Zimbardo reported his findings on the experiment to the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment#Conclusions

  2. sargasso_c says:

    I can understand both sides. The police correct disorderliness and watched an apparent theft, the guy just wanted a little leaf juice. If he parked a camper and hooked up his fridge and TV to the school’s power for the night, would things be better or worse?

  3. Paulieo says:

    But of course, if the shoe were on the other foot and the city/state wants a piece of your electrical power, they just charge you more for it. ;) They “take”it. But no cop will show up on their doorstep.

  4. Tom says:

    Well, it IS Georgia! Perhaps they should also arrest everyone who charges their iPhone during the day…

  5. Poo Poo Head says:

    I’m guessing these cops don’t even look at their own electrical bill. But even if they do, you can be sure they don’t double check the calculations. I bet even YOU don’t.

    Look again! Because where I live there is a mandatory “fee” (which is really a tax) that we all pay to help make electrical power more affordable — to EVERYONE. Of course, your area’s PUC laws/rules may be different. So if this Kamooneh guy has a home which I’m betting he does, he probably has already paid for the electricity he supposedly stole at the school.

    Stupid cops. Maybe they don’t have enough to do when they think someone is ripping off a school for a NICKEL! I mean, would anyone care to look at things like crayons that anyone with a kid has probably been mandated to donate every year?! Or maybe these cops don’t think the PROPERTY TAXES that most of us pay with our mortgages or actually pay to our county’s are enough.

    Or maybe this is a prelude to allowing the police to selectively enforce ANY law they like and are really just looking to set a precedent that will allow them to enforce other things like immigration. Hmmmm. Seems to me that if there is any kind of authority that it would be the IRS and not the Andy and Barney department of buffoonery!

    Perhaps these dumb ass cops could be patrolling the streets and highways for more relevant offenses like violations of physical laws that would net them a bit more profit. Or maybe they could read the side of their own patrol vehicles and instead of trying to bully the public they could actually help PROTECT AND SERVE! (Ya. Good luck with that one.)

  6. spsffan says:

    Actually, it’s only the “Ford said Chamblee Police did so without asking school officials if they wanted to prosecute the alleged theft of electricity.” part that makes the cops bad.

    What kind of an arrogant douchebag just plugs his car into any available socket without asking? The only shocking thing is that he isn’t a BMW driver.

  7. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    It was a theft and a trespass and potential electrical problems etc.

    “If” the cop had nothing better to do, a citation was appropriate. I’d say a warning if the cop was often in the area and could keep a mental note.

    Its called the broken window theory of policing.

  8. CrankyGeeksFan says:

    At the bottom of the linked article is a statement from the police chief.

    Interesting.

    The police were responding to a 911 call which means the police have to respond. Mr. Kamooneh should subpoena the 911 call in his court defense. Someone called after a few minutes of charging. The police chief also wrote that Mr. Kamooneh was given a warning by school officials about using the tennis courts without permission. He was taking tennis lessons.

    The police should have given him a notice to appear instead of making the arrest.

    I’m surprised that an electric car driver hasn’t been arrested yet at a motel or hotel using the same rational.

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

      I laugh at myself recognizing I started to feel “cheated” when my housemate used an outside electrical outlet to charge various batteries she used. I had to get a GRIP on myself: no different than turning on a light bulb. But she paid rent. Same with a motel guest depending on what noticed policy statements might say.

      I agree…warning or citation… NOT an arrest.

  9. Eric_G says:

    When I lived in Fraser CO (Icebox of the Nation until they sold that title to Inernational Falls, MN), my apartment building had outlets in the parking lot for engine block heaters. I had a diesel work truck at the time and would keep it plugged in all the time, even on weekends when I wasn’t working. Never noticed my electric bill was any higher than before I started driving that truck.

    This does raise an interesting question though. Many proponents of electric cars have said that charging while you’re at work will offset some of the range issues. Where are you going to plug in? In this economy you’d be laughed out the door to the unemployment office if you demanded a charging station be installed so you can mooch free electricity (even a few cents’ worth) from your boss.

    • pedro says:

      ” Many proponents of electric cars have said that charging while you’re at work will offset some of the range issues.”

      That’s where the brains of many a liberul stops working. In their unicorn-filled world, there will be no raise in electrical demand with electric cars

    • CrankyGeeksFan says:

      The apartment’s management was probably paying for the outdoor engine block heater outlets by taking it from everybody’s rent. The only way to know for sure would be to check an apartment’s circuit breakers to see which if any outdoor outlets is on them.

      The charging station that would be installed at a business would have a debit/credit card reader built into it. It would bill a customer in order to reimburse the business owner for the electricity that will appear on his meter.

  10. Smee says:

    If he’s a taxpayer and it’s a public school, didn’t he already pay for the electricity?

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

      No.

      • Uncle Dave says:

        Really? Then where did the money to run the school come from if not from taxes? Bake sales?

        • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

          Taxes go into a general fund entitling no one to anything.

          Entitlements/rights come from specific laws/theories.

          Thats why you can’t withhold x% of your taxes because you disagree with obamacare or the troops in Iraq or the fraud of bridges to nowhere.

          You surprise me Uncle.

    • CrankyGeeksFan says:

      It still doesn’t give a member of the general public the right to take from the school i.e. someone can’t walk in the school and ask for free paper, pens and pencils.

  11. mainecat says:

    They forgot to include the mandatory “Delivery Charges” which might escalate the 5 cents to felony level theft. Felony level theft by the electric utility.

  12. AvgJoe says:

    The guy drives an electric… He’s a douchebag… A cheap one…

  13. Glenn E. says:

    If there was an external drinking fountain at this school. And someone did more than merely take a sip. Like wash their face, and dampen their tshirt, to cool off. Would they be charged with taking water? What if they filled up a large bucket or canister, with the water, for drinking wherever some game was taking place? Rather than running back for a sip at a time.

    The police could have given this guy a warning. It’s not like he was endangering lives, with his car. And its not even an “unsafe condition”, like having a turn signal out. Lots of people get warnings for that. So why not a warning for misappropriating 5 cents of schools electricity? It’s not like the car was parked and charging there, overnight. I use to do that on the Air Force base, I was stuck at. Because the Base garage sold me a defective car battery, I had to keep charged between uses, or it wouldn’t start my car. I never got a citation for my car being plugged in to the utility pole outlet, outside my dorm. But my getting to work, by car, was part of National Defense. Not for pleasure.

    And what about all the misappropriating of public funds and resources, that some politicians seem to get away with? No legal reprisals there either. If they’re caught, they apologize, and the state basically forgives them. In my state, we’ve got some boob of a District Attorney, who has been getting police car rides, with the siren blaring. Like he’s some kind of spoiled brat. They’re still trying to figure out whether they should charge him with anything. Years before this, we had a politician getting Medivac helicopter rides, for his girlfriend. That news ran for a short while. Maybe he repaid the copter use, and maybe he didn’t. But he never suffered any legal action. How much more than 5 cents stolen, was that?!

    Maybe those Atlanta cops just had electric car envy. Or maybe they were enforcing a Govt edict. If they let people recharge their cars just anywhere, without a credit card purchase, or home smart meter, to record it. Big brother will have a tough time tracking us down. Those gasoline filling stations can only record so many purchases by credit card. The cash buyers have a little bit of anonymity. If they’re not caught on camera.

    Why do they want to know when you’ve refueled or recharged? As far as the Govt thinks, having a car makes you just as dangerous as having an assault rifle. Gas or electric juice, is a car’s ammo. And without a car, one is just a helpless slave on foot. No speed or horsepower, plus you leave a scent trail. And no bullet resistant steel skin. If the Govt can’t hunt you down and shoot you dead, quickly. You’re dangerous. So gas or electric charges must be recorded.

  14. reepicheep says:

    People…read the article.
    This was typical news wanting to grab attention.
    Want real reasons they used the theft to arrest him?
    “…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.”.
    Also, he seems to be a jerk and opportunist:
    “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.”

    • pedro says:

      “Also, he seems to be a jerk and opportunist”

      Which kinda explains why he drives an electric car.

  15. John E Quantum says:

    Perhaps there was also some prejudice in the mix since the electric thief was not ethnically “American”. And if he was a dick to the police officer the officer could have given him free electricity from his tazer, which apparently wasn’t done.

    • reepicheep says:

      Nah. Lilburn Georgia is very diverse.
      Not sure what race the officer was but this was about a guy being a jerk and people got tired of him and decided to find a way to charge him with something to stop him from continuing to jerk people around.
      Sad part is most people reading the headline only will feel sorry for him. After hearing the amount of electricity he consumed I knew something else had to be in play here.
      …oh, and good one on the taser :-)

  16. MikeN says:

    It was 5 cents because the police arrested him before he could do a full charge, which I am told lasts hours. So perhaps the right amount was between a quarter and 50c.

    5c for 20 min is 15c for one hour. that suggests these are running at 1 kilowatt or more, which seems high.