Kaveh Kamooneh Arrested for “Theft” of $.05 Worth of Electricity
Are you an electric car owner who thinks that they have carte blanche to just go around and hook up their ride to any old outlet and suck down somebody else’s electricity without paying? Or, more appropriately, are you Georgia native Kaveh Kamooneh, who charged his Nissan Leaf for 20 minutes at an outlet at Chamblee High School while waiting for his 11-year-old son to get out of tennis practice? If the answer is yes to the former, you might just be arrested for “theft by taking without consent.” If the answer is yes to the latter, you were already arrested for what is arguably the stupidest notion of a perceived “crime” in this century.
According to CBS Atlanta, Kamooneh came back to his car to discover a Chamblee police officer sitting in his car. Mind you, when I say his car, I mean to say that the officer was inside Kamooneh’s car, because I’m sure that is somehow absolutely legal.
“I noticed that somebody was in my car,” said Kamooneh. “I walked over and it was a Chamblee police officer who then informed me that he was about to arrest me or at least charge me with theft.”
So exactly how much juice did Kamooneh steal during his 20 minute grand theft electricity? Don Francis of Clean Cities Atlanta tells WXIA-TV the eco-conscientious driver made off with about five cents worth of electricity at most.
Ridiculous, right? Not according to Chamblee Police Sergeant/notorious party pooper/Chamblee High Class of 1983’s “Most Likely to Be Friendless by Forty,” Ernesto Ford.
“He broke the law. He stole something that wasn’t his.” Ford scurried off after making this statement to menace somebody who had picked up a penny they found on the sidewalk.
“A theft is a theft,” he added before scribbling out a citation for every patron of the Chamblee Starbucks who had an electronic device plugged into one of the walls.
Eleven days after the incident, deputies showed up at Kamooneh’s house and arrested him. For “stealing” less than a dime’s worth of electricity.
Ford said that the warrant was issued after he determined that Kamooneh had not gotten the school’s permission to use the 110-watt outlet for 20 minutes. He also noted that the school had not asked to press charges against Kamooneh, which quite obviously suggests that Sgt. Ford is one of those guys who would probably still hate you four years later for not paying him back for that one time he helped you make exact change.
If you can think of anything more ridiculous than spending 15 hours in a county jail for charging a plug-in hybrid for 20 minutes, we’d like to hear it. How about an afternoon of hard labor for leeching your neighbor’s weak Wi-Fi connection? A weekend of community service for taking your co-worker’s unmarked can of Diet Coke out of the office fridge? Let us know what you’ve got in mind!
UPDATE: A quick spin through the wonderful, wonderful internet turns up the presence of a Kaveh Kamooneh from Atlanta on the networking site Linkedin. If this is our story’s hero, he is the owner of Lili Properties, Inc. of the greater Atlanta area and has been for nearly twelve years. This is enough on its own to suggest that Kamooneh is a respected and trusted member of the Georgia community. It is also noted that Kaveh Kamooneh has a PhD in Philosophy from Columbia University, which means that he is presumably a well-educated and intelligent man. This would also suggest that Dr. Kamooneh is at least fiscally responsible if not somewhat independently wealthy, leading to further the notion that Sgt. Ford’s crusade against this bad, bad electricity thief is nothing more than some misguided quest in the name of false righteousness at best and something fueled by prejudiced impulses at worst.