A Nissan Leaf Owner in Dekalb, Georgia, was watching his son play tennis after school. Perhaps, not thinking about the consequences, he plugged his car into an exterior outlet of the school.
Eleven days later, he was in jail. Whoa, that escalated quickly. As it turns out, a police officer noticed the Nissan Leaf, plugged into the school’s electrical system, and told the owner to unplug it. Later, he proceeded to get a warrant for the man’s arrest and showed up later to put him in jail. I can tell that you’ve already formed one of two opinions regarding the crime in question. Some of you may be thinking, “What was he thinking? Theft is theft, and he deserves to be punished.” On the other hand, some of you may be thinking, “Isn’t jail a little excessive?” Perhaps a third opinion might be, “What’s the big deal?”
I find it interesting that, practically everywhere you go, you’ll find unprotected and unregulated electrical outlets, and you’ll often see what are, apparently, random people plugging in mobile phones, smartphones, laptops, tablets, or radios. These devices are fairly ubiquitous, but how often do you see police officers telling people to unplug? Better yet, how many of these people have gone to jail? Is there some kind of grey area that hasn’t been explored, as to how much electricity is acceptable to steal? Is it OK to plug in a laptop, but not OK to plug in a Nissan Leaf?
True, the Nissan Leaf owner should have at least asked permission to use the outlet, instead of plugging in a high-power device at will. On the other hand, I think that an arrest was a little bit overkill. I don’t know the circumstances, but it doesn’t appear that tennis-dad Kaveh Kamooneh turned violent at the suggestion that he unplug, so why the arrest? We’ve all done silly things, perhaps a warning would have been enough? The last time I got a police warning, I took it to heart and made sure I changed my ways.
The owner estimates that the car may have been plugged in for approximately twenty minutes, worth about 5¢. Some estimate that it costs between $25 and $75 per day to put someone in jail. How much did it cost the State of Georgia, the same one that funds Chamblee High School, to jail Mr. Kamooneh for fifteen hours, for a 5¢ theft? At most, there’s a $46.83 deficit now, which could have been used to buy a book for the school.
Image © 11 Alive [Screenshot]