By on December 4, 2013

2012 Nissan Leaf, Exterior, front 3/4, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

The owner of a Nissan Leaf was arrested in Georgia last week for stealing 5 cents worth of electricity after he plugged his car into the exterior outlet at a local middle school while his son was playing tennis.

 

According to Atlanta’s NBC affiliate, 11 Alive, the car had only been plugged in for a few minutes when a police officer arrived and informed the man that he was committing theft and directed him to unplug the car. Later, after verifying the school had not given the man permission to use the outlet, the officer pursued an arrest warrant. The man was arrested by two deputies who appeared at his home 11 days later and spent more than 15 hours in the DeKalb County Jail before making bail.

Advocates of electric vehicles will decry this as police over reach and argue that amount of energy involved was negligible. The police, on the other hand, have taken a tough, no nonsense approach and, in their opinion, theft is theft no matter how little was stolen. I’m left asking is this what our society has come to? What kind of dumbass figures that he can charge his car for free wherever he stops? On the other hand, what kind of cop is petty enough to chase a guy down for a nickel? I wonder, would the cops have rolled in on this guy if he had “stolen” water from the drinking fountain at the side of the school to fill a leaky radiator? Clearly, the only ones who are going to win this battle will be the lawyers.

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221 Comments on “Cops Nab Electric Leaf Owner Before He Can Ride Free On Your Nickel...”


  • avatar
    KixStart

    Was there a sign that says, “unauthorized use prohibited?”

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      That’s just stupid. You want little signs all over everything?

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Fair point, but it could equally be asked was there a sign saying “Free electricity for use”? Some electric car advocates think they can plug in anywhere any fuel up their car for free. This sort of event reported, even if very petty due to the amount involved, was bound to happen sooner or later.

      • 0 avatar
        j emerson

        How ever you look at this, he took something without permission and that is stealing. but realistically, if we, the taxpayer are supposed to give the ev people free electricity, should we not also provide me with free gasoline? where do the ev people get off thinking that they should get something free that is paid for by us? i know that they think they are being green, but where does the electricity come from? what fuels the power plants?

    • 0 avatar
      Felix Hoenikker

      This is why I shut off my outside outlets when I’m not using them. That being said, you would need at least a 50′ extension cord to reach the nearest pavement.

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      “Was there a sign that says, ‘unauthorized use prohibited?’”

      why the hell should there be? I just can’t grasp why so many people seem to think that anything that isn’t locked up or bolted down is theirs for the taking.

      Christ, I was like 5 years old when I learned “you can’t just take something because you want it.” Don’t know why so many supposed adults have difficulty with this concept.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        There’s a principle of law which says that if you do not deny use of your property, you lose the right to deny use of your property.

        Maybe you ‘learned’ something when you were five, but the law can’t and doesn’t work on such principles.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Along the same lines, as I read this – would anyone have said anything if he plugged his phone in to charge on the same outlet? Nope.

    But he WAS stealing, and being an electric-car-douche. If the maintenance man had left his truck outside at the tennis court with a couple gas cans on it, would you be able to help yourself to some (even if only 8oz)? No.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Actually, if you do a Google search, people have, as insane as it may seem, been arrested for theft for plugging in cell phones at outside outlets of businesses.

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      Well, a phone has a bit less current draw than a car. IIRC, the 110V draws about as much as can be safely delivered on a 15A circuit.

      • 0 avatar

        True, but the amount is small. Roughly the rates are like $0.01 to $0.05 for kW*h. So, if he plugs for 5 minutes, and draws 15A, he steals 0.0275 kW*h, so less than a cent. It’s more the principle of things… Like going to donut places and stealing just a buck from their tip bins.

        • 0 avatar
          johnny ro

          …or taking one of those pennies from the penny dish by the cash register to use for paying the extra on a $10.01 purchase?

          No, as the penny dish is a public offering not a private stash merey left unprotected.

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatist

        Yes according to Wikipedia it draws 3.3 KW at 110V, about as much as two large window air conditioners. That’s a non trivial amount even though I think a warning would have been sufficient under the circumstances.

        There is a problem being created by cities (and some businesses) with free charging stations. It’s a good PR gesture (though I disagree with a city supporting such a thing with tax money) but that’s only because these cars are so rare. If they ever become successful and electric bills climb to thousands per month, it will be necessary to pull the plug and the screaming will begin by those who view electricity as an entitlement.

    • 0 avatar
      Lynchenstein

      He was stealing…I guess so. But how was he being an electric-car-douche? The fact that he owns an electric car makes him a douche?

      By that same token, are you an electric-car-owner-hating-douche?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Nope, I’m not. Drive your electric car all you want, but just as it’s my responsibility to ensure I have enough petrol, it’s their responsibility to ensure they have enough juice.

        He became an electric-car-douche by siphoning power from a school. If he siphoned gas from a school vehicle, would have been no question of his guilt.

        I fill up at gas stations, you fill up at home or at a charging station. It’s that simple.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I’m with you on this one. With PEVs there came a new mentality where the PEV owners think they can freeload on the rest of society because they drive an EV.

          It must be the taxpayer subsidy of $7500 that tricks their brains into thinking they can just plug in their EV any place and someone else will pick up the tab.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Just wait until the BMW EV is out…

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            It’s out. I saw one in El Paso, TX at a Taco Cabana restaurant. Didn’t know what it was until I saw the Roundel.

          • 0 avatar
            carlisimo

            Is it really freeloading when your property taxes fund the school?

          • 0 avatar
            05lgt

            @carlisimo Yes. it really is theft. My taxes fund it too, it’s not ours anymore. it’s the whole groups and can only be dispursed according to the rules established when the tax was established.

        • 0 avatar
          SatelliteView

          Please, stop this nonsense about someone being douche for “siphoning power from school”. It’s the school unions who are the elephants in the room. This is idiotic to latch onto a micron-level issue. How about you being a douche for BREAKING THE LAW when you drove your car 66mph on a freeway where the sign reads “65 speed LIMIT”?????

          There’s a good folk “saying” in Russian:

          “make a fool pray, he’ll smash his forehead”

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      A douche? He plugged into a public facility for which he pays taxes -and when told not to he unplugged. Where’s the douche?

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        EV drivers appearently have that stereotype. I would love an EV. I just need 200 miles of range before I’ll jump in that pool. Does that make me a wannabe-douche?

      • 0 avatar
        285exp

        If the maintenance workers had been mowing the grass and he helped himself to a can of their gas, would it have been ok if he had just stopped when they told him to?

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          This guy was in the wrong, no doubt. I do know that an arrest warrant was overkill. Fine him, send him a bill for the estimated electricity he used plus administration fees, then be done with it.

      • 0 avatar
        jz78817

        “A douche? He plugged into a public facility for which he pays taxes -and when told not to he unplugged. Where’s the douche?”

        assuming he was entitled to use other people’s power.

        this is not to say the police response was justified, mind, but yes, he was being a self-centered douchebag.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          A similar comparison is turning on a publicly accessible faucet to get a drink.

          There is a precedent that if you have property accessible to the public, and you do not prevent the public from accessing said property, you lose the right to deny access to that property. The responsibility is on the owner, not the public. If the use of an outlet (or faucet, or lights, etc.) is not controlled, there is a strong legal case that the owner of said outlet (or faucet, or lights, etc.) no longer has the right to deny him charging his car.

          An example is in cold climes where people use outlets for their engine block heaters. In those cases, there’s a strong case that the electricity is a public service, not a private asset.

          • 0 avatar
            jz78817

            you’re going to have to start providing citations for me to accept your POV. you’re basically saying the law will let me take whatever I want from you if you haven’t done anything to prevent me from doing so.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            No, I’m saying that if you establish a pattern of not doing anything to prevent people from taking from you, you essentially lose any credibility to accuse someone of taking anything from you.

    • 0 avatar
      gsally

      The school can provide a low cost thing like electricity where it can be used by parents waiting for their kids?

      I’m sure the school could find a annual advertising sponsor (We love the environment! Charge your car/phone/whatever here complements of Company FooBarBaz) to cover 10x the cost of the electricity, install a few more plugs and call it a day.

    • 0 avatar

      Of course he WAS (technically) stealing, no differently than the cop does if he stops in his patrol car to pick up a loaf of bread for his family, or sits in his car for five minutes with the engine running; this is “unauthorized use of public facilities”. And I’ve got no problem with the cop telling the guy that he shouldn’t be plugged in. However, I have no wish to live somewhere that we are prosecuting people for “stealing” $1 worth of electricity or water. Particularly since we seem entirely unable to prosecute people who manage to filch billions from our economy by stealing pennies from everyone.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Ahh! that is the future of the automobile? Well, once again the lawyers get in on the action, I know a guy who owns a mobile car wash and always manages to appropriate some water w/o getting caught.

    • 0 avatar
      Stumpaster

      What does the story have to do with lawyers? The owner does not need a lawyer, he can just admit to sufficient facts, ask for leniency and go back home.

      • 0 avatar
        Volt 230

        are you kidding? nowadays you even need a lawyer for a traffic ticket, if not, you get screwed, it has happened to me twice. You go to driving “school” you get no points, but your insurer finds out and you get penalized for the next 3 yrs, with a lawyer, it gets erased. You pay the fine, court costs and his fee but no insurance hike.

  • avatar
    dwford

    We are now a society based on petty thefts. We all “steal” electricity to recharge our phones at work, “steal” extra smoke breaks, shop online while being on the clock, take extra napkins from McDonalds etc.. Where is the line drawn? Would this guy’s kid be arrested for plugging in his laptop at the school? At the same time, if this guy rolled up to someone’s house and plugged in without asking, then what?

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      This is a bunch of power hungry government *ssholes. Maybe the police chief’s wife is the principle. “Only the government is allowed to steal, stay away from our racket.”

      The real news here is what drove some cop to arrest this guy, instead of at most writing a ticket. Pressure from the chief? An arrest quota?

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      You’re right – in a while Al-Qaeda will want to steal oil for their AKs. Where does it stop?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    KixStart has the right idea, politely explain to the man not to do it again and post a sign prohibiting the practice. Others come along and disobey then react accordingly.

    If this was a private institution I could see a different attitude, but it’s a public behemoth, err institution. Slow shift guys?

  • avatar
    boomslang1982

    Last time I checked, you need a Victim before you can have a Crime. Next time this “writer” tries to write something about police over stepping their powers, should investigate if the school wanted to pursue charges. It was the school that wanted to do it. The officer was following the wishes of that entity.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      This isn’t how the criminal system works. The “school pursuing charges” would only mean civil. He was criminally punished, which means the DA chose to pursue him criminally.

      People/institutions can pursue only civil charges.
      The DA/courts do the criminal part.

      Many, many people fail to understand this.

      • 0 avatar
        Avatar77

        I see we have a lot of not-quite-lawyers in here. As a former D.A., I can tell you that while the charges are indeed “the state’s” to bring, we needed the victim’s affirmative word that the person had no permission or authority to take an item in order to pursue the charges. The school could end this saying they didn’t want to pursue the case, and the D.A. would have no choice but to drop the charges. This is a case of a boneheaded cop on some kind of ill-guided mission.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          It would help to read the news story:

          “(Chamblee police Sergeant Ernesto) Ford said Chamblee Police did so (sought the arrest warrant) without asking school officials if they wanted to prosecute the alleged theft of electricity.”

          This appears to be the case of an overzealous cop using an H-bomb to swat a fly.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      The linked article specifically states that the police did not ask the school for their input; and that is immaterial anyway because criminal law does not require/allow the injured party to decide whether to “pursue charges”.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Was it a criminal or civil violation? The police sent the case to the D.A. as a criminal violation. Regardless of what the police do, the D.A.’s office has options. One of those options is declining to prosecute, and the main reason is likely to be the requirement for an expensive jury trial in a criminal case, and the difficulty of convincing a jury that drawing five cents of electricity from an easily accessible, unmarked outlet deserves a criminal conviction.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Yep, theft is theft. If the freeloading thief had siphoned of gasoline from a school vehicle they would have done the very same actions. Plenty of precedence for that in law.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          But is there any proof that he actually stole anything? Just because a device is plugged in doesn’t mean it is actually drawing power.

          If I was on a jury for this case, if they have no definitive evidence that current left the outlet and went into his car, or that the outlet owner was harmed in some way, I would not convict.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      This smacks to me of a lot of overpaid public employees attempting to justify their own existences in some crappy town.

      Methinks a stern warning should have sufficed, it’d certainly have saved the taxpayer a good bit of coin.

      Plus, if you have to opportunity charge at 120V, you really should have gotten a Volt. 20 minutes of 120V charging might be good for what, 3-4 miles?

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      The victim?

      The school, and since it’s public, thus the State.

      Victim and individual are not synonyms in this context.

      (I assure you that while I might agree philosophically, the LAW does not believe that there’s no such thing as a victimless crime; see laws against drug possession.)

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    We have a civil courts system, not everything has to be criminal. Also, cops can write tickets for local ordinance violations if they are not power hungry thug *ssholes.

    Electric is not free? Try sending cops to a person’s house and holding him for 15 hours. Compared to that electric is free.

    The guy probably felt like he paid enough money into the school system, which, if it is anything like the ones around me lets people retire with bloated, COLA adjusted pensions in their 50s, and sends admins to Vegas or San Diego for “conventions” to party on the taxpayer’s dime, that he was owed a nickel of electric.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I pay for the school system and have zero kids – I should go have a free lunch there three times a week.

      • 0 avatar
        cartunez

        You should. Give the state another crack at indoctrinating oops I mean educating you.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I’ll rent a white conversion van before I drive over.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            30 something man in a white conversion van parked in a school zone. Nothing odd about that at all…

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Whaaaat? I’m 27 thank you. And commonly mistaken for 18-20.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Save it to the judge, lol.

          • 0 avatar
            Sam P

            “Whaaaat? I’m 27 thank you. And commonly mistaken for 18-20.”

            It’s the Infiniti M, and before that, the Lexus GS. Those cars to me say “40 year old guy with a kid or two”.

            27? G37 sedan or coupe; or maybe an IS350.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I have a preference for larger luxury-type cars, and I don’t have kids to screw em up. :)

            Before that I had an A8L, before that an I30, 90S, 5000.

            I’ve never had a small car. The 90S was the closest thing, and it was a heavy beast.

            The G37 and IS are not nice enough for my tastes, and they likely ride too stiff.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Dear Lord, please bless those who have owned an Audi 5000, for they had good intentions before it all went so very wrong.

            I’ve never loved and hated something at the same time more than my 1986 Audi 5000.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I shall plead ignorance to the potential pitfalls, since I was a teen, and bought it myself. It did have this spirit about it like, “I can do it!” even when it was broken.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I did the same thing at 16. The plus side was that I got to spend quite a bit of time at the European automotive parts supply store. I still have the Chilton’s guide with all my notes.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Let’s see I got mine in 2002, an 87 5000S auto with 121K miles. Steel blue/blue velour. Paid about $2500. Needed a new water pump, which the seller lied about.

            It was a one owner though! He had the original order spec sheet.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I had an ’86 CS Turbo Quattro, Alpine/Polar White (I forget what they actually called the color, it was off white) with Black leather. It had a sunroof and heated seats but they never worked. I had it for two years, donated it to charity, then got it back eight years later when it broke down on the freeway and was impounded. The DMV/SOS still had my name on the title somehow. I drove it for awhile until we had a child. I sold it because I will not let my daughter fall in love with an Audi 5000, it can only end with pain and sadness.

            The best part is that I sold it in 2012 for more than I bought it for in 2000. Haha.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Sounds like yours was nicer than mine, since I had some blanks where the seat heat rollers were.

            I can’t believe such a title issue existed where you’d get it back after 8 years. Did you have to pay to get it out of impound?

            I had to put a new radiator on mine. The plastic part which the hose fitted over chipped and cracked apart on my way home from high school one day. Of course the whole thing was one big piece, so I couldn’t just do a part of it. $400+ is rough on a high school student working at a grocery store.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Yeah, I paid to get it out of impound. I got a letter from the state of Michigan saying that my Audi was abandoned on I-275. I ended up buying it from the impound lot. I explained my story, waited for someone to claim it, and then I bought it. I wasn’t going to pay impound fees on a broken down ’86 Audi I didn’t even own.

            It gave me a reason to get my Soundgarden and Alice in Chains tapes back out.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Hey it was abandoned down here! Was the charity in Ohio?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            It was abandoned in MI. We have an I-275 in the Detroit area.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Oh, well never mind then! That’s a good story about the car though. Unusual circumstances.

        • 0 avatar
          jz78817

          “You should. Give the state another crack at indoctrinating oops I mean educating you.”

          ooh, sounds like somebody just started college.

      • 0 avatar
        Yoss

        If you really look 18 you might be able to get that free school lunch — during the summer at least. Plenty of schools provide free lunches to children 18 and under during the summer.

  • avatar
    ash78

    This should be “lesson learned” for the school, don’t press charges, and just learn to put up a sign of some kind. If you want to get really anal, be specific: “Please ask staff permission before plugging in power tools, electric vehicles, or any devices drawing more than XXX watts” or something like that. Or put the outlets on a switch located inside, or on a key lock.

    Yeah, this guy broke common courtesy, but unusual situations like this are supposed to be the basis of common law…and common sense.

  • avatar
    lmike51b

    $.05 today is OK? When is it not OK? $5.00? $500.00? Nah – bust him.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      and .001 mph over the speed limit is speeding – bust ‘em.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      It’s a slippery slope. Before you know it, a nickel’s worth of electricity will lead to terrorism and genocide.

    • 0 avatar
      toxicroach

      If the guy had found a dime on the sidewalk and picked it up, that would be theft to.

      I understand why the school doesn’t want people making this a habit, but a full on arrest for it? It’s a bit hard to swallow when you see people commit perjury 10 times without consequence, or an auto theft solve rate of 0%. A prosecution seems like a waste of law enforcement resources. If the guy had plugged in a boombox or something, the same basic principle would apply but no one would think it was theft.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        No, it’d be salvage, I reckon.

        In Oregon, for instance, see http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/164.065

        “A person who comes into control of property of another that the person knows or has good reason to know to have been lost, mislaid or delivered under a mistake as to the nature or amount of the property or the identity of the recipient, commits theft if, with intent to deprive the owner thereof, the person fails to take reasonable measures to restore the property to the owner.”

        A random dime on the sidewalk HAS no reasonable measures for restoration; no identity can be established, nor is the dime identifiable to its owner as HIS dime.

  • avatar
    jz78817

    I think I should move to Chamblee, GA. If the police have the free time to pursue things like this it must be the safest goddamn place in the world.

  • avatar
    cartunez

    Yup this is effective use of tax dollars. I await the state worshipers to tell me how his using 5 cents will escalate into a murder spree in the years to come.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      It’s not the 5-cents. It’s the fact that so many PEV drivers expect someone else to pick up the tab for their range-anxiety.

      I play poker with a dozen old codgers once a month, and a couple of them drive PEVs. Neither of those guys have ever asked to plug into any of my outlets.

      My brother used to own a Leaf in Manhattan, NY, and the building where he lives charges him extra for plug-in privileges.

  • avatar
    carrya1911

    In a sane world a judge would throw out that case and threaten to cite the officer who brought the charge with contempt if he pulls such a stunt again.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    On one hand unauthorized accesss to the outlet is theft but on the otherhand is the punishment fitting the crime?

    The SOB who plugged in his car may be an unfortunate scapegoat or maybe he has been doing this every time he goes to the school.

    Not enough is known about the circumstances or who forced the whole issue.

    It is not as if they dragged him off to the hospital for 3 colorectal exams but the guy does seem to be getting it up the ass one way or another.

  • avatar
    Firestorm 500

    The Leaf owner is an arrogant a**hole for stealing power from the taxpayers. He cannot justify it by saying he pays plenty in taxes, therefore he deserves it. It’s no different than someone siphoning gas or diesel from a school vehicle. It’s no different by reasoning since one spends plenty of money at Walmart, one deserves to shoplift an item now and then.

    He probably gave the officer some lip. Which is why the officer pursued it further. I’m glad we have a public servant like that, that takes his job seriously.

    If the Leaf owner has range anxiety, maybe he should carry around his own gasoline generator, fueled with gasoline he paid for, to charge his battery.

    Oh, wait! That defeats the whole purpose of owning a Leaf!

    Heck, he is already getting free use of the road that we gasoline engine owners pay for in fuel taxes. I sincerely believe that an owner of a hybrid or all-electric vehicle should have to pay an additional fee every year when they renew their tags to make up for the lack of fuel taxes they don’t pay for road maintenance.

    • 0 avatar
      stryker1

      And if he used the restroom, and dried his hands with a paper-towel, send him to Siberia.

      • 0 avatar
        slow kills

        Use of a facility and theft are different. A metered utility is not there to be siphoned from by a private vehicle owner.

        Am I the only one applauding this opportunity to turn an act of entitlement into a revenue generating opportunity?

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Except the restrooms are *indented* for the use of people who have a right to be on premises, and likewise paper towels in them are *for* the use of those rightful patrons.

        The problem is not “using resources”, but “using resources you have no actual right to use”, either implicit or explicit.

        Using bad analogies just makes the situation more difficult to analyze.

        By all means argue that it’s a stupid overreaction – but don’t confuse rightful use of resources with “because I can and it was convenient” use.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      I was actually just thinking how awesome it would be to install a hitch and carry around a generator on the back of a leaf.

      • 0 avatar
        onyxtape

        http://www.plugincars.com/company-launches-electric-car-range-extending-diesel-powered-trailer-101953.html

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Do that (generator behind a Leaf), and you net about 16 mpg. Besides looking foolish doing so, you actually would be.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Actually, Gasoline AC Generators are a lot more thirsty than that. And with Inverters the rpm depends on load which generally means you run the gas tank dry sooner with high loading like the Leaf Charger.

          It doesn’t look foolish. A guy in SF, CA towed one behind his Leaf and the generator trailer had the same paint scheme as his Leaf. Looked kinda neat. Not economical, but neat.

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        BMW has done this, it’s called the i3.

        http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/motoring/road-tests/motoring-review-bmw-i3–range-extender-8937912.html

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      I wonder if the school is paying Phil Collins royalties for the music on chambleefootball.com

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      As a taxpayer I would rather have the $100,000+ that could be saved if the stupid cop was fired. Too bad stupid cops cannot be fired because of police unions, so this parasite living off the taxpayers will continue to steal from taxpayers with a job he does not deserve, until he retires in his 50s with a bloated defined benefits pension that he does not deserve.

      And I’m sure he never uses his cruiser for anything other than official business. Or goes shopping or eats lunch on the clock. Right? No cop would ever do that.

      This is the US, it is not a crime to give lip to an *sshole college drop out. We have an amendment protecting that right.

      If the cop took his job seriously he would have written a ticket and gone on to do something productive with his day. Maybe prevent actual crime. Instead of wasting hours on an unnecessary, excessive arrest because he was born with a tiny dick and lucked into a badge.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        You think cops on patrol make 100 grand?

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Around here they do. There is an annual list published of public employees what make more than 100k a year and there are at least a couple traffic cops on the list. I am familiar with the one specifically because he makes his bones picking on any modified car for just about any reason.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That’s Canada Land money though right? Still a lot I suppose.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Does that list assume OT? Every time I would see a list like that in a local paper, it would be base salary. State cops in Michigan top out at $62,000 after 20 years. However, they bank so much OT. I know guys that double their salary with OT. At some point, we would be better off having more cops and not paying time in a half or double time to the reduced force.

            The Wayne County jail is going to pay $20 million in OT this year. With that cash, they could hire over 300 more employees with benefits.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Yes that includes OT. The one particular traffic cop writes so many frivolous tickets because it’s a sure fire court appearance. It usually ends up in a case of he said, cop said and the judge sides with the cop.

            Example, my cousin was riding his Gixxer and was pulled over by the guy. He got a loud muffler ticket for having an aftermarket pipe. Thing was, the pipe was compliant as it had a baffle, the officer didn’t even look in the pipe, probe it etc. All it took in court was the cop to say, “yes I did” and the judge ruled against my cousin for having a straight trough pipe. So yeah, they milk the OT hard.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The cop is lucky your cousin allowed himself to be pulled over.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      @Firestorm 500: How would you calculate the road tax for an EV?

      I’m getting about 120 MPGe. At 9000 miles/year, I would pay about $44 in Pennsylvania gasoline taxes. I’m OK with that – are you? Or do you intend to tax the EV driver inequitably?

      • 0 avatar
        Firestorm 500

        But you’re using the same infrastructure as someone getting 20 mpg. If you were to use, say, 26 mpg which is a rather high average over 9,000 miles with federal and state taxes at $.37 per gallon, it would come to about $128.00.

        I think that would be a fair assessment per EV vehicle

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          But that’s not how it works today. The gas tax is paid according to consumption, and you clearly think this is unfair.

          • 0 avatar
            285exp

            Taxing by consumption is easy to collect and requires no special tracking or calculations. Right now there aren’t enough plug-in or purely electric vehicles for it to be a big issue, but as cars get more fuel efficient and/or switch to non-taxed sources, then they’re going to have to find a way to start charging the free-riders. I’m not looking forward to them putting gps systems in our cars to track our mileage, because there’s nothing to prevent them from tracking where you are or where you’ve been either.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    … I’m left asking is this what our society has come to? What kind of dumbass figures that he can charge his car for free wherever he stops? On the other hand, what kind of cop is petty enough to chase a guy down for a nickel…

    This

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    If I had a electric car, I would of probably done the same thing. I bet if a teacher or faculty had an electric car, would they not get to charge for free? Seriously, I think the stance on this is important.

    Now, did the police over react? Certainly. He was told to unplug the car, and probably rightfully so, and he complied. But as electric cars become more prevalent, this does need to come to light.

    • 0 avatar

      My guess is that it would have been handled by the school principal. We’ll have to wait for Dan to chime in…

      • 0 avatar
        Firestorm 500

        My wife is a retired teacher with 32 years of service.

        If she wanted to eat in the school cafeteria, she had to pay the adult price. She did not get a free lunch.

        Therefore, if a teacher has a plug-in car, they should not be able to plug it in at taxpayer’s expense.

        No free lunch.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          LOL! One of my sisters was in charge of Student Nutrition and one day she invited us to join her for the school’s Thanksgiving dinner.

          When we entered the cafeteria, the cashier collected $6.00 a piece from us and we were served a child’s portion dinner.

    • 0 avatar
      285exp

      So you think it should be ok for electric car owners to plug in at any free outlet they can find, without asking permission? And I don’t think that an employee of the school should be able to steal taxpayer supplier electricity either, any more than they should be able to pilfer food out of the cafeteria.Yes, the stand on this is important, you shouldn’t be able to steal other people’s electricity because you’re saving the planet by driving an electric car. If your employer provides an outlet and free electricity as part of your job, fine. If a shopping center or the city provides free charging outlets, fine. If you ask and receive permission to use someone’s outlet, fine. If not, keep your damn cord to yourself.

      I do think the police may have over-reacted, and arresting him a week and a half later is a bit ridiculous, but there’s no “probably” about him being rightfully told to quit stealing.

  • avatar
    mcs

    In my town, if your kid is on the school tennis team, you’d be expected to pay $380 (and much, much more if you have a daughter in ice hockey) for the use of facilities for the year. I’d be really pissed if they gave me a hard time about $.05 of electricity.

  • avatar
    stryker1

    Man, it must be awesome to live in a state where Violent Crime has been so thoroughly eliminated that the police have nothing better to do than prosecute marginally questionable use of public resources.

    Next up, looking to long at decorative murals on the school’s exterior walls will get you PITed as you exit the school round-about.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I’m glad the police are working hard to keep us safe from rogue electric car drivers.

    Poor judgement from parties, but even poorer on the part of the police. Just ask the guy to unplug the car and after he does, leave it at that.

    No one would want to press charges for an unquantifiably small amount of electricity.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      >> I’m glad the police are working hard to keep us safe from rogue electric car drivers.

      Next step – go after Prius owners with the roof solar panel chargers for getting electricity from the light cast by streetlights at night. :^)

  • avatar
    cartunez

    I can guarantee you that much more time and energy was wasted arresting this kid than 5 cents. This should not have happened and not a single drone can make this type of abuse of authority make sense.

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      Wasn’t a kid. It was the father. He should have known better. Since he didn’t, he has now been schooled.

      • 0 avatar
        jz78817

        “Wasn’t a kid. It was the father. He should have known better. Since he didn’t, he has now been schooled.”

        “cartunez” is too busy coming up with university-freshman-quality rants against “the State” to actually read articles. the more of his comments I read, the more I think of this:

        http://xkcd.com/610/

  • avatar
    Feds

    http://news.thomasnet.com/fullstory/Weatherproof-Outlet-Covers-are-lock-out-tag-out-compliant-494122

    Problem solved.

    My college has a food truck. That food truck needs a 50A outlet. My 50A outlet has a lockable disconnect. Nobody steals from my 50A outlet.

    • 0 avatar
      Roader

      X2. Open outlets were fine before electric cars; I doubt many people were plugging their toasters or space heaters into the school’s open 120v outlet. Now a new high-current consumer product comes along and property owners will have to lock out their electrical outlets.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        When I worked in a bank branch in Detroit, people would try to charge their electric wheelchairs in the branch. It wasn’t worth the arguement or stranding a elderly person between the bank and their rent subsidized apartment. I didn’t let someone plug their Leaf in from a parallel parking spot though. If he was a customer, I probably would have thought about it.

  • avatar
    z9

    In California there are many municipally owned EV charging stations. As far as I can tell, since the balance in my ChargePoint account has never gone down when I’ve used them, they are free or mostly free. Presumably the municipality offers them as a public service, in the same way they offer parks, libraries, streets, and so on. I am sure it is just one more thing for ICE car drivers to resent. More than a culture of theft, we have a culture of resentment. Someone is getting a better deal and so, instead of working toward the common good, I will act against my own interest to make sure that person does not get that deal. You may have heard of the experiment where someone can object to the way a gift $20 is divided among two recipients: if they think the other person is getting too much (around $17) they can object and give up a gift (of $3) to make sure the other person doesn’t get their money. Well it turns out this depressing result is culturally specific to Americans! It is not really about the Leaf driver “stealing” five cents. He would have gladly paid the money back. It is about law enforcement as the public expression of private resentment. Electric car drivers are getting free gas and I’m not. Lock ‘em up.

    • 0 avatar
      jeffzekas

      Perfect response. +1

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      That simply must be the explanation here, because any use of logic or sense of the situation on the part of the police officer wouldn’t have resulted in what happened.

      You’re right, resentment is a big problem. It’s often referred to as a lose/lose attitude and is what holds many if not most individuals back, let alone the “common good”.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      Yeah, z9′s comment is the one that nails it. In a word, it’s jealousy, and very petty jealousy, at that. You can damn well bet that some dimwit soccer mom in a big-ass, gas-guzzling SUV at the same sporting event was highly incensed at seeing the Leaf owner getting free electricity/transportation on ‘her’ dime as a taxpayer, no matter how small the amount, and was the one who got on her cellphone to call the cops to initiate the whole affair.

      Now, when this concerned citizen has her taxes increase due to such trivial arrests, she’ll be up in arms over that, as well.

    • 0 avatar
      285exp

      Maybe the problem is a bit of a case of entitlement on the part of the EV owners. They’ve been given thousands of dollars towards the purchase of the vehicle, often they get to use HOV lanes even if they don’t have additional passengers, the municipalities provide them free places to plug in, they pay no highway tax to fund the roads they’re using, hey, why shouldn’t they think they can plug in wherever they want? Why would anybody resent an attitude like that?

    • 0 avatar
      cackalacka

      As evidenced by other comments in the thread, z9 nails it.

      Oh to be able to harness the untapped power of certain mentality’s resentment. Electric power would be so cheap, there wouldn’t be eCar tax subsidies and most folks would be able to get over their range anxieties.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    I wonder if that cop takes his cruiser home and uses it for personal errands as well, I’ve seen cop cars at their homes waaaay out of their jurisdiction and no one says crap about it., Taxpayers are footing the bill, imagine you get to drive a car for personal use and no insurance, no gas, no maintenance, you save yourself a lot of money at the end of the year.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    I don’t think the Leaf driver is a douche for plugging his car in. The electricity used for even an hour or 2 of charging is almost inconsequential, he isn’t hurting anyone, I have seen electric cars plugged into outlets in parking garages at the mall, really, is this a big deal?? But even if the school objects, then a simple verbal warning would be more than sufficient. The police clearly went overboard on this, some lawyer is going to have a field day with it.

    Until we have a LOT more electric cars on the road then this is a pointless debate, and when there are a lot more of them you can bet that everyone and their grandmother will be trying to figure out ways to make money off occasional convenient charging.

  • avatar
    Wraith

    If the outlet was clearly available in the parking lot (he didn’t have to run a cord inside a building or anything), this is ridiculous.

    This not comparable to siphoning gas or stealing products from Walmart.

    Many places offer conveniences at no charge to their customers/visitors. If outlets in this lot are only to be used by school staff, they should say so. If the school offers these outlets for general use, but wants to specifically exclude visitors’ electric vehicles (which may be a reasonable concern as they increase in popularity), they should say so. Post signs, send e-mails, send a note home with students, put a notice on the website, there are a lot of ways to let people know.

    How is someone to know that plugging in a car at a publicly-available outlet is theft in this case, when it’s not in others, unless they’re informed?

  • avatar
    Flybrian

    …and yet the taxpayer-funded school has the right to ask parents to provide children with their own supplies along with supplies for the classroom?

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      My now-retired teacher/wife often bought supplies for the kids and her classroom with our money.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        That happens a lot. Growing up with a mother that was a teacher, every year we would go buy supplies for her classroom. Every year, the reimbursement from the school would get smaller, until it ceased to exist.

        Even my daughter’s daycare has the audacity to charge extra for materials and supplies. We just got a $65 bill for a “Winter Materials Fee”. The $65 isn’t going to kill me, but I already pay a fixed tuiton price every week, regardless of how many days or hours she’s there.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Feds allow $250 deduction on taxes for supplies purchased by teachers for their classrooms. My wife always hit full deduction the years she was teaching. I can name many times where I as the principal of an elementary school said “f*ck it” and purchased things with my own money rather than wait WEEKS for the district to process POs for things that were needed post haste.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          My mother is the assitive technology coordinator in one of the SE Michigan counties/intermediates. She has to purchase things from the iTunes stores to put on district iPads for students and so forth. They won’t even give her a corporate card. She had to fight for someone to order her prepaid Visa cards instead. Ridiculous.

        • 0 avatar
          Firestorm 500

          Yeah, but a reduction in taxable income for a little relief in what you pay in taxes is not the same as having that full amount of money in your pocket.

          Many people don’t understand that. Present company excluded.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            It should probably be a rebate, but that’ll never happen.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            Ah! The old difference between a tax deduction and a tax credit. The former comes off your taxable gross, the second is a reduction of your tax amount. The former will turn a $250 deduction at the 20% rate level into a savings of $50. The latter will reduce the tax you owe by $250. So many people can’t tell the difference unless you do the math for them.

  • avatar
    jeffzekas

    Tempest in a teapot.

  • avatar
    ash78

    Electricity has to be used up or it will just flow all willy-nilly from the outlets and return to the ether. These electric car drivers are just providing an “outlet” (pause for laughter) for all of these leptons and quarks and neutrons and whatnot to have somewhere to go and to put them to work. Because an idle subatomic particle could easily turn to a life of meth abuse and illegitimate children and perpetual government welfare programs.

    /channeling Ted Stevens, RIP

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Are we gonna start seeing “Do not charge your EV here” signs popping up all over the place?

  • avatar
    Mr Imperial

    Was he

    (wait for it)

    Guilty as Charged???
    ——-
    What a shocking act of thievery!
    ——-
    Watt? Stealing electricity? Sounds like the charged are a little over-amp’ed….

    Okay, I’m done now :)

  • avatar
    ceipower

    One Jackass car owner , One cop with a Barney Fife complex , and a school anxious to press the point to this extreme. You are so correct….Only the Lawyers Win. Still , I’m kind of glad it happened. Owners of these cars who have that kind of arrogance , should be banned from society and reproduction.

  • avatar
    ZekeToronto

    De Minimis:

    An abbreviated form of the Latin Maxim de minimis non curat lex, “the law cares not for small things.” A legal doctrine by which a court refuses to consider trifling matters.

    In a lawsuit, a court applies the de minimis doctrine to avoid the resolution of trivial matters that are not worthy of judicial scrutiny. Its application sometimes results in the dismissal of an action, particularly when the only redress sought is for a nominal sum, such as one dollar.

    From: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/De+Minimis .

  • avatar
    lon888

    Any one on this forum ever fly? Go to any airport and what do you see? People hovering around the outlets charging their phones/laptops/ipods/whatever. It seems the airport cops could use the same tiny-brained mentality and arrest everyone using the “free” electrical power. Five cents of power is a waste of police and the courts resources. Typical Barney Fife cop.

  • avatar
    E46M3_333

    I predicted things like this would happen. It wouldn’t be too hard to tap your EV’s battery into an inverter while at home to power your house. Charge for free somewhere in public; drive home; power your house with the “stolen” electricity. Where I live, the marginal cost of electricity is $0.38/Kwh–not exactly trivial. In time, public outlets will all have to be fused, metered or locked.
    .
    .

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    How F’n dumb do you have be to think that plugging your electric car into any available socket is OK? And he probably wasn’t that far from home if he was at a school so I doubt he needed the juice to get home. Overkill by the police who didn’t act much better but honestly I’m not sure I feel bad for the schmuck.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Geez, what do you expect when:

    - There are extensive (eight ‘procedures’), 14-hour legal anal cavity searches in Deming, NM, signed off by a judge and DA.

    - A Utah state trooper can go for years arresting drivers for DUIs when their blood alcohol content is 0.0%.

    - A speeder in Liberty, NY gets arrested for ‘aggravated harassment with intent to annoy’ when he writes ‘F*ck your sh!tty town b!tches!’ on his mailed citation payment.

    The three tenets of a totalitarian society:

    - The law is the law.
    - I’m just doing my job.
    - If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    Law enforcement has really jumped the shark, I used to be a big defender, but over the last few years, they’ve become bullies that only care about revenue generation than protecting people.

    It was a douche move to plug in your electric car to the school’s outlet, but the cop could have just said unplug it and moved on.
    The officer wasted FAR more resources going overboard than the nickel of electricity.

    Also, this is simply not a real problem for society. Maybe someday in the future, but people “freeloading” with their electric car is a non-existant problem. Cops should respond accordingly.

    My guess is, a Leaf owner being told he couldn’t plug his electric car in (despite the fact he’s a modern day Superman for saving the Earth) was probably enough to set him off and go into a war of words that escalated to this.

  • avatar
    Atum

    Oh goodness, people on the other side of the perimeter are so crazy! I blame the somewhat pitiful bias of the story on 11 Alive, which is NBC, which is Liberally biased. Liberals think they can steal freely from people, and make up lame excuses. I want to see the point of view on this story from a less biased source.

    Also, a Liberal stereotype is driving electric cars. Everything connects! (Please keep hateful thoughts about my beliefs to yourselves.)

  • avatar
    Hillman

    As predicted this is now all over the news. So, instead of a simple warning we now have a major headache for the school system, the poor owner, and a case that will likely be dropped. I was once told, “think about how this would look on the news.” You can’t really go wrong with living by that advice.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    I thought minor crimes like this one could be handled with a citation rather than an arrest. Even that’d be overdoing it, imo, but at least it wouldn’t be newsworthy.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    As the (a?) token Leaf driver here at TTAC, I’m impressed with the responses on this topic. Here’s my $0.02 (pun intended), which may not be representative of EV drivers, since I’m a Righty:

    1. This EV driver is in the wrong. The publicly-paid-for outlet is for school purposes, not personal.

    2. The police are in the wrong. They should have advised him to not do this again, case closed.

    3. The public’s perception of EV charging is whacked. The Leaf’s portable charger draws 12 Amps – as much as a hairdryer. The police probably thought he was pulling tens of dollars of energy out of that small receptacle. Now they’re backpedaling by hiding behind legalism.

    4. Since battery technology remains primitive, it’s not worth charging away from home, unless it’s a quick charger. His 20 minutes would have gained him about 1 mile of charge, 2 at the most. I don’t know why he bothered. It takes a few minutes to wrestle with the Leaf’s portable charger to begin with. I’d only use it in an emergency. BTW, on 120V, all EVs (even a Model S) charge at about the same slow rate. This is because their ‘fuel economy’ is all about the same, and lithium ion cells can only be charged so fast, and because a 120 outlet can only supply so much current. The Tesla just has a much larger tank.

    5. Referring to #3 and #4 above, I’ve used my portable charger away from home exactly once. I foolishly traveled too far to some relatives’ house, and knew I wouldn’t make it home without a few hours’ charging on their 120 outlet. They were funny about it, and I don’t blame them, even though they only gave me about $0.50 worth of energy.

    6. Public Level 2 chargers: Our local grocery mega-chain has Level 2 chargers at several of their stores, available for free. I’ve used them a few times just for fun, getting a few miles for a few cents cost to them – maybe 20 miles out of the 10k I’ve driven. It’s not worth the wait, and actually, I shopped in another store every time, so they never even got my business.

    7. E46M3_333 above is correct – he did warn about this very issue. It should be dealt with, but not in an authoritarian way. It will be interesting to see how employers deal with their workers doing the same thing.

    8. Pay to play? This seems like the natural solution, but I’ve heard of exorbitant prices being charged for public EV charging. That’ll be the day I fill up the Leaf for 10x what I pay at home. And if EV drivers only use pay chargers for emergencies, the business case is gone. Consider what you’d do if Exxon left 5-gallon cans of gasoline every mile along the road, available if you put $100 in the machine to unlock it.

    • 0 avatar
      Roader

      12A * 120V = 1.44KW * 10¢/KW hour (Georgia), the scofflaw would have stolen 14-1/2¢ worth of electricity from the school had he kept it plugged in for an hour.

      No doubt your relatives would have gladly given you a gallon of lawnmower gas and refused reimbursement. But a gallon of gas is tangible, more so than a kilowatt hour of electricity. “Who knows how much money that car is sucking out of my house?”

  • avatar
    kosmo

    I suspect the untold portion of the story here may be that the EV owner publicly belittled the cop at the time of the incident.

    I happen to completely agree with Jacob Coulter above “Law enforcement has really jumped the shark, I used to be a big defender, but over the last few years, they’ve become bullies that only care about revenue generation than protecting people.”

    Over the past 30 years, my small town police force has slowly but surely moved from a “protect and serve” approach to “law enforcement and revenue collection”. Sad. Truly sad.

    But there has to be more to the story here.

  • avatar

    I just want to put in here that it appears that 11 Alive added to their original article this evening to clarify exactly what happened. The new part can be found at the bottom of the original article in italics.

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      that changes things, I think. If the new info is correct, then the Leaf owner does sound like a douchenozzle.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      Ticket the guy for trespassing and ticket the guy for misappropriation. The warrant was a massive waste of resources on a power trip, that is not acceptable from public officials.

      The fact that the cop had time to think about it makes it even more ridiculous than an arrest at the scene would have been.

    • 0 avatar
      cartunez

      Being an asshole shouldn’t be a crime. The state licensed thug has the gun so unless the other party is a threat to the life and liberty or his/herself or another suck it up and move on.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      The cop didn’t take time to think about it. He waited until the school was open so he could validate the crime. He then filed a report. Not exactly thug-like behavior.

      The “douchenozzle” (thanks jz78817) also falsely accused the officer of a crime. Being an asshole may not be a a crime, but that certainly is.

      • 0 avatar

        The way the article is written, it makes me think the cop wrote the report to cover his own ass after the douchnozzle alleged his car was damaged. That created an official record of the interaction should the guy decide to come after the officer for damages. It all makes sense now…

        • 0 avatar
          285exp

          If the cop wrote the report to cover his own ass and he actually did damage the douchebag’s car, then that’s one thing, if he wrote the report to cover his own ass for being falsely accused of damaging the douchebag’s car, then that’s another. His in-car camera should be able to resolve that question. The original story said the dbag was there to watch his kid play tennis, the update says he had no kid at that school and that he was using a court that he had previously been asked not to in order to take a private tennis lesson. These are facts that can be confirmed by the school and the tennis instructor. The original story implies that he was just parked in the parking lot and plugged up to a handy outlet, the update indicates that the douchebag parked in the schools’ loading dock and trespassed onto school property in order to plug up to an outlet that he had no reasonable expectation to think he was entitled to use. If it turns out that the cop did indeed damage the dbag’s vehicle and fabricated his report, then he needs to be held accountable, if it turns out he didn’t and the dbag was trying to falsely accuse him, then the dbag richly deserved what he got. If the dbag was falsely arrested then he should file a suit against the cops. I rather doubt he will.

  • avatar
    wc1972

    If there ever is a case of punishment way over offence.

    At the same time I can think of a few cases where little to no punishment on massive offenses, e.g., NOBODY in wall street get busted for stealing billions and dragging the whole world into recession.

  • avatar
    AoLetsGo

    A while back my neighbor hired a company to power wash his house. That day I am in my house and hear my water meter running so I go outside to check and sure enough they had plugged their hose into my spigot. I was not pleased and they paid me $20 for the water used and that was that.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Great comments ! (especially the PUNS) .

    Does this mean we/I can now hate EV drivers as much as everybody hates BMW drivers ? =8-) .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    FDR New Deal era Rural Electrification program was quite beneficial to the south

    http://newdeal.feri.org/tva/tva10.htm

    Maybe he is just getting back what he or his grandparents paid in.

  • avatar
    CarGal

    I find this whole thing incredibly amusing. The comments alone are popcorn-worthy.

    Bottom line: If I syphon gas, it’s a crime. It doesn’t belong to me. Same goes for stealing electricity.

  • avatar
    sideshowtom98

    A few years ago the DeKab County Sheriff was arrested for putting out a contract murder on his election opponent. He was convicted of murder. These are who the fine of DeKalb vote for.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    The story as told on the link says the Leaf driver “routinely plugs into publicly accessible outlets”. So this guy thinks he’s entitled to mooch free power all over town. How many people are out there like him? The message needs to go out loud and clear that this is not OK or Home Depot better stock up on locking outlet covers.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Good question. Not this Leaf driver, anyway.

      But to be fair, we’re really talking about degrees here. If you plug your laptop in at McDonald’s, why is that OK but an EV isn’t? (My EV costs me about $0.65/day in electricity, and – if I used it – my local grocery store has a Level 2 charger available for free.)

      • 0 avatar
        285exp

        It takes a bit more electricity to recharge an EV than it does a laptop or cellphone, and I suspect McDonalds wouldn’t be keen on you running your charge cord inside to recharge your car. On the other hand, if McDonalds puts some free car chargers outside for their customers, that’s fine. If you plugged up to their external outlets without their permission, not so fine. This really isn’t too hard: If a place expressedly provides facilities for you to plug in your car, it’s ok to do it. If they don’t, and you ask and receive permission, it’s ok to do it. Otherwise, you are committing a theft of utilities, and just saying that you’re not stealing too much is a poor excuse. You honest EV owners should be the ones denouncing this freeloader the most, he’s making you look bad.

        • 0 avatar
          mnm4ever

          I think the question isn’t should he be allowed to do it or not, the point is, should be be arrested for it, especially when he complied and removed the plug when asked.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            At this point, the only subject worthy of debate is the form of capital punishment that he deserves.

            The electric chair provides the greatest opportunities for irony, of course, but the guillotine could be a real crowd pleaser.

          • 0 avatar
            285exp

            mnm4ever,

            Did you read the article? Unless the officer is flat out lying and framing him, when he was asked to stop stealing the schools electricity he was argumentative and accused the officer of damaging his car, he didn’t meekly apologize and willingly cease. He didn’t even bother to go over to see what the officer was doing at his car, the guy he was playing tennis with did. If the officer caught someone in the act of siphoning gas from a car he wasn’t entitled to siphon from, does it make it all ok because he stopped? The guy didn’t have a kid at that school, and even if he did he had no right to plug his car up to their outlet, and I suspect that if he had not done this before and that he had not been previously asked not to use the schools’ tennis courts and that he had not been an ass when the officer informed him that he couldn’t do it, he’d never have been arrested.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Giving him a ticket would have probably been sufficient.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    “Stealing” electricity is not the same as stealing gas or food. Just the value of it alone is insignificant. If you want to punish this guy for plugging his Leaf in then you also need to prosecute anyone who plugs in a cell phone or a laptop, or anyone who drinks from a water fountain. I think its very clear that many people are extremely resentful towards electric car owners and just want them punished.

    • 0 avatar
      285exp

      So if your neighbor buys an electric car and charges it from your outlet, you’d be ok with that?

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        Thats not what this guy did. He plugged it in for an hour or so while his kid played soccer. And yes, if someone needed to juice up for an hour or so, I would gladly allow it. And even if I didn’t want him to, I would simply ask him not to do it, I wouldn’t want him arrested for it. These hard line legal definitions are silly, like others have posted, you going to ticket someone for going 66 in a 65? You need to use some common sense when it comes to laws.

        That’s why we live in a society and not a police state.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        @285exp: Interestingly, there is a network of do-good homeowners who have added their homes to the EV charging network. This means that if you’re stuck, you can give them a call and they’ll try to accommodate you.

        Obviously, helping someone in a bind who asks is much different than them helping themselves to your power, but one reason they do it is because it’s economically cheap to do so – once. However, I have not added my home to that network for a variety of reasons.

        • 0 avatar
          285exp

          SCE:

          I think that’s great, and if people voluntarily offer to help out other range-impaired drivers then good on them, but that’s entirely different than someone helping themselves to power from outlets that are not designated as free. If some poor EV driver coasted up to my house, knocked on the door, and asked permission to plug up to my outlet for a couple of bucks worth of electricity I’d have no problem. If I found him plugged up without permission I would. I realize that the amount of electricity involved here is not great, and part of that is because they made him stop, but the initial reporting puts this guy in a much more favorable light than the subsequent reporting, and I have to admit that I will be skeptical of the account of a proven petty thief who apparently feels entitled to plug up wherever he pleases.

  • avatar
    50merc

    Hanging is too good for that scoundrel! Future headlines: “Starbucks patron arrested for plugging iPad into wall outlet.” And “Traveler nabbed using electric shaver in airport restroom.” Ve must haff discipline! To hell with proportionality!


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