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Electric car owner arrested for taking 5 cents' worth of power from school

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 A Nissan LEAF like the one Georgia dad Kaveh Kamooneh plugged into his son's school for 20 minutes, landing him in jail. (Nissan Canada)

Are all thefts equal? Many are arguing they are not after hearing about the case of a Georgia man who was taken to jail for plugging an electric car into his son's school for 20 minutes.

Kaveh Kamooneh told WXIA-TV in Atlanta that he had driven to Chamblee Middle School in Chamblee, Ga., to watch his 11-year-old son's tennis lesson.

With his his Nissan Leaf electric car running low on power, he decided to plug it into an outdoor outlet before joining his son on the court.

When he returned to the vehicle after 20 minutes, a police officer was waiting.

According to a police statement, a 911 call had tipped them off.

"He said that he was going to charge me with theft by taking because I was taking power, electricity from the school," Kamooneh said to WXIA-TV.

 Kaveh Kamooneh took approximately five cents' worth of power from an outdoor outlet in Chamblee, Georgie (WXIA-TV) Despite the fact that he only took about five cents' worth of power from the school, a police report was filed.

Eleven days later, after it was determined that school officials did not give Kamooneh permission to plug his car into the outlet, an arrest warrant was issued.

Two deputies arrived at Kamooneh's home and brought him to the DeKalb County Jail, where he spent more than 15 hours and paid a $160 fine.

"I'm not sure how much electricity he stole," said Chamblee police Sgt. Ernesto Ford to NBC Atlanta. "He broke the law. He stole something that wasn't his... A theft is a theft."

Chamblee City Manager and Police Chief Marc Johnson issued a statement Wednesday evening to defend the authorities' decision.

He alleged that Kamooneh had previously been asked not to appear at the school tennis courts without permission, and that this influenced the officer's decision to write a report.

"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," reads the statement. "Given the unco-operative attitude and accusations of damage to his vehicle, the officer chose to document the incident on an incident report. The report was listed as misdemeanor theft by taking."

While Kamooneh admits that he did not have permission to plug in his car, he, like many others around the web today, feels that the theft charge is overkill.

"I don't agree that every taking without consent is theft," Kamooneh said. "Cell phones, laptops are regularly charged without consent in public places or commercial places."

Kamooneh intends to fight the charge in court in February.

What are your thoughts? Is a charge too much of a penalty for plugging one's car into an outlet, or is every theft a theft?

Tags: POV

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