CHAMBLEE, GA -- When Chamblee police asked a judge for a warrant to arrest electric car owner Kaveh Kamooneh, experts say they vastly overstated what he had stolen, according to an affidavit provided by Chamblee PD. The warrant affidavit says that when Kamooneh plugged his Nissan Leaf into an electrical outlet at Chamblee Middle school, the "accused did take electricity ... with the actual value of $10 - $25."
Kamooneh says he was plugged into an outlet at the school for 20 minutes. A Georgia Power spokesman says the kilowatt hour value of the electricity would be four cents.
"I'm not sure how much electricity he stole," Sgt. Ernesto Ford of the Chamblee PD said tuesday. "We couldn't determine the amount. But it was less than a hundred bucks."
Authorities jailed Kahmooneh on a charge of theft by taking. Kahmooneh says he routinely plugs his car into publicly accessible outlets.
'I took the electricity without permission," Kamooneh said. "Normally the value is so little you don't typically ask permission in these cases"
But Kahmooneh is getting no backing from the victim in this case, the DeKalb County school system. The school system issued a statement saying "the Dekalb County school district has cooperated in the investigation and will continue to do so."
"To me this was a little heavy handed," said Greg Crittenden, who sells electric vehicle chargers and is active in the Electric Vehicle Club of the South. He suggests that police and Kamooneh both mishandled the incident.
"I would like to see electric vehicle owners ask for permission," Crittenden said, though he says he's never heard of an arrest in such a case until this one.
A spokeswoman for the DeKalb solicitor's office said a decision hasn't been made whether to prosecute the case.