Steal School Electricity And Go To Jail

December 4, 2013 14:32 pm

by Nathan · 25 comments

I happened to stumble upon this over at Slashdot. They link to both a story on Ars Technica and 11Alive. This is from Ars:

Kaveh Kamooneh plugged an extension cable from his Nissan Leaf into a 110-volt external outlet at Chamblee Middle School while his son was practicing tennis. A short time later, he noticed someone in his car and went to investigate—and found that the man was a Chamblee police officer. “He informed me he was about to arrest me, or at least charge me, for electrical theft,” Kamooneh told Atlanta’s Channel 11 News.

11Alive has more details:

[Sergeant Ernesto] Ford said he sought the arrest warrant after determining that school officials hadn’t given Kamooneh permission to plug in his car. Ford said Chamblee Police did so without asking school officials if they wanted to prosecute the alleged theft of electricity. A DeKalb Schools spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Records show Kamooneh spent more than 15 hours in the DeKalb County Jail for plugging his car into a school’s electrical outlet.

Kamooneh acknowledges he hadn’t asked permission first. “When I got there, there was nobody there. It was a Saturday morning,” he said.

“A theft is a theft,” Sgt. Ford said. When asked if he’d make the arrest again, he answered: “Absolutely.”

So, of all the things not to do. Don’t steal your local public school’s electricity…even if it was only about 5 or 10 cents worth. ‘Cause that’s just bad.  Remember, it’s For The Children™.

peachpundit (@peachpundit) December 4, 2013 at 2:32 pm

New post: Steal School Electricity And Go To Jail #gapol

Eric The Younger December 4, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Mens rea out the window again.

Harry December 4, 2013 at 2:50 pm

How can we know that?

Eric The Younger December 4, 2013 at 3:56 pm

I’m going off of the cop’s quote. “A theft is a theft,” Sgt. Ford said. When asked if he’d make the arrest again, he answered: “Absolutely.”

Thomas Adams (@GeorgiaCRE) December 4, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Steal School Electricity And Go To Jail – I happened to stumble upon this over at Slashdot. They link to both a st…

Chris Huttman December 4, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Would the police have arrested him if he was charging his cell phone – I know, cell phone drawing about 1/20th the power but still.

David Staples December 4, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Good question. After all… “a theft is a theft”, right?

mpierce December 4, 2013 at 4:38 pm

My cell battery holds 5.55 Wh. A Nissan Leaf hold 24KWh (or 4363 times as much as my cell phone).

David Staples December 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm

“A theft is a theft”….

Rick Day December 4, 2013 at 7:29 pm

“Sorry sir, you can’t breathe here, the air belongs to the school district. Theft is theft.”

Rick Day December 4, 2013 at 4:20 pm

This is just one of many examples why we must insist the mental standards for law enforcement be at least over 120. It is currently averaging 104.

Of course, SCOTUS rubber stamped hiring sub intelligent people with guns and only peer review back in 2000. It would be interesting to know the IQ of Sargent Kilowatt. An obedient drooler is a dedicated drooler. Yeah, Sarge, I call them like I see them. It’s a role I play.

smh 15 hours… just that alone represents 60 times the cost of the ‘theft’ to begin with.

bgsmallz December 4, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Only 1 hour was for the electricity theft…the story doesn’t mention that he egregiously abused the water fountains by drinking from them without permission.

Just tell the guy to unplug the car and get on to dealing with real crime. Oh…and the chief needs to tell Sgt. Ford to sit this one out. BTW- Who called to complain? For crying out loud, folks.

Rick Day December 4, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Well, given the nationality of the perp’s name, I’d say it was a Good Ole American who called in this heinous theft.

Noway December 5, 2013 at 12:07 am

Rick, I don’t normally agree with much of what you post, but on this one, you’re right on. This “officer” is a total d***chbag! Cops are famous for their discretion in being able to write tickets or not and how they handle their interactions with the public. This guy gives them all a bad name, like the overzealous Barney Fife who ticketed the kids’ lemonade stand a couple of years back. What an embarrassment to the Chamblee PD. “A theft is a theft?” Well, Ernesto, ole buddy, a termination is a termination, too. Get the eff off of the force.

bgsmallz December 5, 2013 at 9:23 am

Ooooooh….it was reported via a 911 call. Some aspiring PP journalist should request a copy of those via the FOIA. PAGE VIEWS!!!!

DavidTC December 4, 2013 at 4:31 pm

There should be some sort of mandatory licensing of grid electric and water. It’s not like the person actually went out and already purchased it and you’re using their supply up.

If you use someone’s power or water, and they themselves are purchasing it in the real time from someone else (Obviously the story is different if you’re using battery or generator power or something that is not supplied by others.) than they should just get to hand you a bill for the estimated costs times three or something (Which would still be a trivial amount), not have you arrested.

Or, more logically, just make a minimal amount for theft. DAs should just say ‘If someone steals less than one dollar from you, don’t bother to report it, we won’t charge them with anything.’ and tell the police likewise.

Anyway, I actually think it would be pretty funny to fight this to court, because as far as I can see there is literally no physical evidence that any electricity was ‘taken’. Seriously. Prove it. Prove that there was electricity in the wall, and that electricity is now in the car. Oh, you assert that electricity is merely the movement of electrons, all of which, under the laws of physics, are completely identical? And hence you have absolutely no way to identify or label any of them? Well, than it’s rather stupid to try to assert ownership of them, isn’t it?

Of course, all this is moot, as this was a _public_ school. Public places generally supply electricity to all sorts of people, and no one ever asks permission. Because it’s electricity paid for with _our tax money_. And it’s a rather trivial amount of our tax money, so even ‘small government’ types aren’t going to whine about the cost.

In fact, people generally assume that, as electricity is so cheap, that _all_ places open to the public have free electricity, just like the water in the restroom is free. Does anyone ask to plug in their laptop at a coffee house? But this is especially true WRT government buildings.

Now, it’s entirely possible that, at some point, electric vehicles will be drawing so much power that the cost will become non-trivial and we need to make rules about that, as a society…but we have not actually _done_ that. Nor are the costs not non-trivial.

And assuming this was a regular outlet, the Leaf wouldn’t be drawing more than a 15 amps, which is 1500 watts, or 1.5 kilowatts. So if electricity is roughly 12 cents a kilowatt-hour, and assuming ‘a short time’ is 10 minutes, he cost them max .25 kilowatt-hours of electricity, or three cents. And that’s assuming the Leaf actually does try to draw 15 amps over the regular plug.(Yes, it obviously can draw more, but that’s with a special charging station.)

Rick Day December 4, 2013 at 7:31 pm

aaaaaaaaand it has already hit the international media.


Will Durant December 4, 2013 at 11:11 pm

NBC News as well. One of the expected comments already:

“Georgia justice at its finest and most absurd. Well at least they didn’t lynch him, yet!”

Nothing like a Chamber of Commerce moment like this to reinforce the ol’ stereotypes.

mpierce December 4, 2013 at 8:06 pm

More to the story?

“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.”
“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.”

Granted that might make a trespass charge more appropriate.

bgsmallz December 5, 2013 at 9:28 am

“Given the uncooperative attitude and accusations of damage to his vehicle, the officer chose to document the incident on an incident report.”

Lesson…be super nice to Chamblee police officers because, if not, they will choose to charge you with a crime. Thanks for clearing that up, Chief!

(*side note…I’ve had interaction with many Chamblee police officers in the community and they all seem like decent folks that care about the community. I appreciate the job they do. I don’t mean to poke fun at their service…it’s the attitude of ‘don’t admit when you made a mistake’ and ‘if he is ‘uncooperative’ treat him differently than if he is a nice guy! that is a little too pervasive in the law enforcement community…this is one of those times where they need to just let it go and stop digging a bigger PR hole)

mpierce December 5, 2013 at 9:48 am

“be super nice” = Not making false allegations against the police while being caught breaking the law?

saltycracker December 4, 2013 at 8:14 pm

When a ticket just won’t work….Bait car reality show step aside…..Bait electrical outlets are the latest crime stopper…….DeKalb police, schools, judges, arrest processing folks and gasoline interests must be so proud of this joint effort….

But who says the reports are correct..

lively64 December 5, 2013 at 6:56 am

This is Common Core Legal Code and it is raising the standard on theft. It appears the United States is lagging behind the rest of the world in the area of absconding with electricity. Recent testing indicated that almost 99% of high school graduates did not know how to steal electricity. Also, 98% of this same sample of high school seniors did not know that plugging in their electronic devices such as cell phones, lap tops, and cars at school was thievery. In developing countries, where at least 90% of the citizens don’t have electricity directly connected to their homes, almost 9 out of 10 males who could read well enough to take our test knew not only how to thieve electricity but also they knew that it was indeed thievery. As usual, Singapore and Finland topped the charts. France did not participate in the testing because it occurred on a national holiday. Colorado high school seniors did not participate because they were too stoned to take the test seriously and just kept giggling and repeating the phrase ‘He said ‘plug-in’”. I blame the teachers.

raharkne December 5, 2013 at 8:20 am

lively64: You nailed it!

NoTeabagging December 5, 2013 at 11:57 am

The more egregious offense seems to be trespassing and “Stealing” the use of the tennis court without permission. Even Barney Fife could see this one.

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