Police in Chamblee in DeKalb County, Georgia, arrested Kaveh Kamooneh on November 13, 11 days after catching him charging his Nissan Leaf from an electric car charging station on the grounds of the Chamblee Middle School without permission.
Fifty year-old Kamooneh claims he had charged his car at the school multiple times before while his son received weekend tennis lessons and didn't know he was not permitted to do so.
According to Chamblee police, the officer at the scene asked Kamooneh why his vehicle was plugged into the school’s charging station, with the Leaf owner replying that it was an accepted practice and that the officer was making a big deal out of nothing.
In a statement, Chamblee Middle School said on November 2 a local citizen contacted the Chamblee Police Department with a complaint that an electric car was plugged into the school’s charging station. Police investigated and subsequently arrested the owner of the vehicle, Kaveh Kamooneh.
A resident of nearby Decatur, Kamooneh says he charged his car for about 20 minutes, which is claimed to be equivalent to about four and a half to five cents worth of electricity depending on rates.
Chamblee police Sergeant Ernesto Ford said he’s not sure how much electricity Kamooneh stole but that it is irrelevant.
“It doesn't matter. He broke the law,” Ford said.
“He stole something that wasn't his. A theft is a theft."
Kamooneh was arrested at his house for "theft by taking without consent" 11 days after the officer at the scene filed a police report. He reportedly spent around 14.5-15 hours at the DeKalb County jail before being released on $150 bail.
Chamblee police chief and city manager Marc Johnson said, “Bottom line: if he had just said, 'Sorry I can just unplug’, there wouldn't have been a report."
Kamooneh says he intends to defend the charge in court in February.