Charges Get Dropped Against Nissan LEAF Driver Who Stole 5 Cents Worth of Electricity

DEC 23 2013 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 40

Charges Dropped

Charges Dropped

Remember the Nissan LEAF owner who was arrested for stealing 5 cents worth of electricity?

Charges Dropped

Charges Dropped

After his arrest, the police issued a lengthy statement on the matter, which basically stated that Mr. Kamooneh (the LEAF owner who was arrested for electricity theft) was uncooperative, argumentative and that he had previously been advised that he wasn’t allowed on school property without permission.

The theft of electricity was not the sole reason Mr. Kamooneh was arrested.

The latest development in this case is that the charges against Mr. Kamooneh have been formally dropped.

As WSBTV report:

“Channel 2 Action News has learned the DeKalb County solicitor is dismissing criminal theft charges against a driver who plugged his electric car into an outlet at a public school.”

“Chamblee Police Chief and City Manager Marc Johnson told Channel 2’s Jodie Fleischer he agrees with the prosecutor’s decision to drop the charges, but he said this should spark an important debate about whether stealing four cents worth of electricity is in fact stealing.”

WSBTV quotes city manager Marc Johnson as stating:

“To not do it and not say it’s wrong implies, well then the entire neighborhood can go up there and start running extension cords.”

“They may be helping the environment, but power isn’t free and they can’t just go plug in anywhere they want to. They need permission.”

“I have no objection, I think it needs to be dismissed.”

“I think of my grandmother who used to steal Sweet and Low out of the little restaurant things, and could she have been arrested for that, maybe technically she could have, would it have been the right thing to do? No.”

Kamooneh still seems to be upset over the ordeal.  WSBTV says Kamooneh only stole 4 cents of electricity, but that the arrest warrant estimated the theft at $10 to $25.  Kamooneh spent 15 hours in jail and his arrest (processing, etc.) likely cost the city $1,000.

Johnson says that it’s often the case that processing of misdemeanors usually costs the city more $ than the cost of what’s actually stolen, but in no way does that make theft okay.

As for Kamooneh, it’s apparently not over yet.  WSBTV says that Kamooneh “considered suing the city of Chamblee because of his time in jail and some comments the chief made after the case went viral, but he’s hesitant about wasting taxpayer money, so he’s still weighing his options.”

We’re not so sure a lawsuit is what’s needed now.  Rather, we hope Kamooneh accepts the dismissed charges as an informal apology and moves on.

Source: WSBTV

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40 Comments on "Charges Get Dropped Against Nissan LEAF Driver Who Stole 5 Cents Worth of Electricity"

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What this question raises if it’s a at a school which is a publicly owned building how can you the tax payer who in many cases is paying hundreds of dollars a year to keep the beast running not be allowed to charge at it? I really don’t think this would be a big deal at the public buildings in my area expect for the fact that people would be shocked that EV’s exist.

If he had asked permission, it probably wouldn’t have been a big deal at all.

It was the fact that he just plugged in without asking, combined with the fact that he’d been asked to leave the grounds in the past…

where is the facts about him being asked to leave the grounds in the past? is there any real evidence about this?

Kelly, that is correct, nobody from the school itself has come forward to say he was ever asked to leave the school grounds. The only person to claim this was done was another police officer who was assigned to work at that school, and that officer doesn’t have the legal authority to speak for the school, or to ban anyone from the school grounds.

Lewl, this is a public building. The status of a public building is very different then a private home. For example, if you go to a private home, you have to knock and get permission to enter. You do not need permission to enter a public building. As long as the door is unlocked, you can walk right in. Once inside, you do not have to get permission to use the bathroom, and take a few cents paper towels, energy to heat the warm water to wash your hands, hand soap, and toilet water. This is not stealing. If you enter a private home without permission, and use a restroom without permission, and you are committing a crime. In a public building, if access is to be limited, clear policies and signs need to be posted to limit access. Such as a sign saying “authorized personel only”. Or a locked door blocking access. I have no problem with any public building putting signs their bathrooms saying they are for “authorized employees only”. I also have no problem with a public building deciding that their outlets are for “authorized personel only”, and posting it as such. Or locking the outlet. But… Read more »

Precisely. If he were operating some sort of business venture off of that outlet (I dunno, a food truck or something) – that’s one thing.

But minor, non-commercial, incidental personal use of open public facilities does *not* transgress any law that I’m aware of.

Yeah but this is a public school.
Around here, you have to ask permission to enter a public school, any time of day. He was there to use the tennis courts, IIRC.

And again, that goes with the permission thing – public place or not – he was asked to leave in the past, according to the earlier news report. He was not technically supposed to be using the facility at all.

I agree that general public should be free to use a few cents electricity in public spaces, but if you read the prior details of the story, he was denied use of the facilities at one point because of his history there. THAT’s the main issue they had with him, and why this even went as far as it did.

Lewl, you do not need permission to lawfully enter any school. However, they may post a policy stating that all visitors must check in at the office or at a security station, etc. That is not the same as it being unlawful to enter the school.

Like I said about the restroom, terms of use of a public building can be posted to limit public access. I see nothing like that in this case.

He has denied ever being asked not to use the facilities, and nobody from the school itself has ever said he was told not to be there, and no paperwork has been released saying he was not to go there. The police dept’s source of that claim was another police officer, who may of may not have dealt with him in the past. But the police officer does not have the authority to speak for the school.

***MOD EDIT***

We removed a nested thread of about 5 comments here that went a bit off track and got a bit harsh/heated unnecessarily…that probably the wider group really didn’t want to read.

Happy holidays!!!

***MOD EDIT***

I don’t recall writing even a single harsh word here. But yet you have removed my comments too.

Hey Assaf,

I had a look at the thread that was pulled and it wasn’t anything you said yourself, however, it was the start of a topic that got progressively nastier as each subsequent reply was added by various commenters.

It just got to a point where it was getting a little vulgar and was going to hijack the entire thread, so a decision was made to pull the line…all the way back to the beginning. There was some good points made, but there was no way to coherently reconstruct the whole thread.

…sorry your comments got lost in the melee!

Jay, I was guessing that… I do admit to raising the factual observation that I guess got some ppl unglued.

Well, I promise to try to keep things in the holiday spirit. I won’t be adding to this thread anymore defending a douchebag who did or did not break the law by trickle-charging a Leaf off of a public outlet in some Atlanta suburb.

Since he’s not being charged anymore (ha ha), I guess we can all find more important/exciting things to take care of.

Happy Holidays!

…all good, (=

I originally supported the dude but after reading about what actually went on….
He’s a douchebag‎.

There is no law against being a douche. We have to take a stand against police abuse. He was arrested because the officer didn’t like the way he acted. I we arrest people for being jerks half the country will be in jail. I think the officer and his boss should spend the night in jail for false imprisonment.

Yup, my comments that were removed suggested a rather obvious reason as to why Mr. Kamooneh was thrown the (wrong) book at.

Apparently some other users responded with some sort of verbal abuse, which is (I guess) why that sub-thread was removed.

Hey Assaf,

Check my comments above..it wasn’t you, your comments just got caught in Internet tornado came out of nowhere pretty quick, lol.

well, I would be in jail too……lol
I get your point. IMHO, it got blown WAAAAAAYYYY out of proportion.

Agreed.

Everybody who enters a public building should think twice before using the drinking fountain or toilet and stealing 1). valuable water or running up the school’s water and sewer bills,

2). Consuming valuable towels, toilet paper and soap!

3). Running up the oil or gas bill by entering or leaving the premises and letting all the heat out!

4). Causing the janitorial staff additional work to clean up your mess and replenish the supplies.

That is different since those facilities are “open to public” in those cases. If you have had that during “off hours”, then you can be arrested for “stealing and trespassing”.

The grounds of the school was open to the public even when the school building itself was closed. That is why the tennis instructor, and Kamooneh and his son were not arrested for trespassing.

Well, this kind of thing is why people indiginous to other states call people who move in to their states from california and bringing their customs with them , call the process Californication. Texans who are used to shooting buck on their properties now have to deal with a Police visit now because Ex-californians who move in as next door neighbors are concerned about the ‘gun-play’ next door. Point is, if they don’t like it, why did they move there? And if they left one state because the area they came from was a hell hole, then their new neighbors certainly don’t want to set processes in place that make their new locale like the one they just escaped from. I sense different areas of the country react differently to different Stimuli. Andy of Mayberry wouldn’t have arrested this guy. That fictional character (although I’m sure there are plenty like him), knew when something is worth worrying about and when it is worth letting it slide. On this day when many Celebrate Jesus’ birth, this “concern” about the law is as when Jesus told the Pharasees “You strain out the Knat but you gulp down the Camel!”. Fortunately, there are… Read more »

moron cops ridiculous

FYI — It appears like the guy’s name was misspelled throughout this article. I believe it is “Kamooneh”, not “Kamoneeh”….

good catch…fixing now

Thanks!

I bet the guy thinks three times before stealing electricity service again.

So he doesn’t want to waste taxpayers’ money, but he thinks it’s ok to steal electricity from the taxpayer.

I think the taxes he paid buying Christmas presents or groceries covered the 15¢ they said he stole.

Isn’t everyone who pays taxes a “Tax Payer”?

But why do taxpayers have such little say over how their taxes are used?

Haha! That’s the key question isn’t it.

The sorry truth is: Services are provided as crumbs to make people think they are getting a bargain from their taxpaying..

IN good times, people tolerate this. In bad times, they ‘throw the bums out’, as what happened to the government of Bell, California, I believe 3 years ago? , where Mayor Rizzo was making $800k/ year, the police chief $700k, and the ‘board of directors’, who each got paid $100k for a part time job (1 day), to decide what the police chief’s and mayor’s salary was going to be next year, in a poor hispanic community where most families were making 15-25K/year.

In my area the school district would consider his use of electricity to fuel his car personal gain on tax payers dollars. If he owned a gas engine vehicle and there was a 5 gallon can of gas sitting on school grounds purchased by the school would it be ok for him to dump the gas into his vehicle to fuel his vehicle? I’m not sure how the use of a rest room mentioned in previous posts falls into play in a school compared to taking fuel to drive your vehicle. Interesting!

Schools should arrest disruptive children in the classroom for stealing the time that other students lose in trying to learn something in the class but can not because the teacher is busy dealing with these future tax-leaches every day. Merry Christmas from Debbie Downer.

You are so right!!! I agree 100%! In New York State the education department isn’t concerned about disruptive students and parents not caring about their child’s education. New York State is more concerned about administrators having to spend all of their time running around evaluating teachers every second of the school day and documentation. Educators that have spent a lot of time and money to become an educator according to the rules and regulations of the state have to spend much of their time preparing for evaluations and no time for the students!!! What a shame!!!

In my area they’d allow someone sampling a thimble full of gas (4 cents).

I ran into a very “officious” type dude the other day at a ‘cruise night’, and he was so horribly offended that I rarely parked at a “free to me” public charger and got maybe 75 cents worth of electricity on, in this case, our local power company’s dime.

I then asked him which Utility provided the electric for his house and he said Nyseg. I mentioned his rate of 9 cents/kwh residential is much lower than the 12 – 13 cents per kwh I pay as a National Grid customer, partially because Nyseg gets more state-subsidized Power Authority of the State of NY power than I did, and that my taxes were in effect subsidizing his very low electric bill.

Of course, he didn’t see anything wrong with that at all, after all HE DESERVED the low rates, just ask him.

I agree with the charges being drop so it doesn’t waste any more time and money of the tax payers. I think this guy learned his lesson and the police department learned theirs.

Now, I don’t understand some of the commenter’s attitude about “taking stuff from Public resources” just b/c we are all tax payers.

Ask yourself, can you walk into a public library and starts taking books with you without checking it out?

Can you walk into a public building and take their furniture with you home?

Can you walk into any Federal Building and starting to take any part of the facility home?

Regardless of value, the point is that he should have asked for permission before doing so. Just b/c it is public building, it doesn’t mean any tax payer would have the rights just to take whatever they feel like regardless of the value.

ModernMarvelFan — There is a vast difference between minor incidental use of public resources, and the examples you listed. For example, you can go into that library and check out that book for free. It costs taxpayer dollars for that book to be in that library, so you can use it for free. It is not theft. It is incidental use of public resources. You can also walk into that library and use their restroom, plug in your laptop for hours, every evening, sit in a public chair (wear and tear) and use their heat to keep you warm, their light to study by, etc. College students do this all the time to study, night after night. It is called incidental use, and it is not illegal. Yes, the value does very much matter, because that is part of the difference between lawful incidental use, and doing something illegal. The officer understood this, which is why he chose to lie under oath in the warrant application, and falsly claimed he knew as fact that the value of the alleged theft was $10-25 dollars, when in fact he had no such knowledge. He inflated the value by 3 orders of magnitude… Read more »
The reason you can “check out” the book for free b/c that the type of services that the library is intended to provide. Is school a “designated” public charging facility? No. Library is designed to provide services for that patrons to use, it is NOT designed to be a charging station for the public. Now, If you had checked out the the book beyond its due date and refuse to return it, then you will be charged for it, although the price is very low. The point is that guy did it without permission and at a facility that is NOT designed to provide charging to the public. Let me ask it this way, do you think if the school had an public charging EV station and he was charging on that public station and do you think he would be still arrested there? I wouldn’t think so as long as the charging station is designated for public. That is difference in perception. Many EV owners think that any outlets in any public location are theirs for taking. But that is NOT the case how most other people think of it. As far as the value of the electricity goes,… Read more »
Nice job at ignoring my second paragraph. My first paragraph was a feed in to the second paragraph. If you want to willfully ignore the point I was making, I can’t help you understand what you don’t want to understand, so I won’t repeat myself. An overdue book is not theft. You cannot get arrested for it. It is not a criminal offense. Nobody was using anything as a designated charging station. That is a red herring. This was opportunity charging that was incidental to the legal and lawful use of the publicly open tennis courts that happen to be located at the back of the school near the loading dock. He did not go there to charge, like going to a charging station. He was there for tennis, and incidental to the tennis, happened to be plugged in for 5 cents worth of electricity. The loading dock is a red herring, and there is absolutely nothing illegal about anyone being there. It could also be described as the parking lot for the tennis court since it was in straight line of sight with the tennis court. It was not illegal to be at the school, or at the tennis… Read more »