Cops arrested the owner of an electric Nissan Leaf in Georgia last week for stealing 5 cents worth of power after he plugged his electric car into the exterior outlet at a local middle school while his son was playing tennis.
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 see 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. Most people, especially over 5 cents, don’t agree with the hard approach.
On one hand, it is wrong for someone who feels they can charge their car wherever they stop. However, others question the cop for being petty enough to chase someone down for a nickel.
Clearly, the only ones who are going to win this battle will be the lawyers. And that’s a fact.