Electric car owner jailed, charged with stealing five cents worth of electricity

SEATTLE -- A Georgia electric car driver spent the night in jail, accused of stealing five cents worth of electricity.

Kaveh Kamooneh said one day last month, he drove his Nissan Leaf to a middle school near Atlanta to pick up his son from tennis practice. Kamooneh told local media that he plugged the car into an electrical outlet at the school to charge the battery.

Kamooneh said he returned 20 minutes later to find a police officer wanting to charge him with electricity theft, but then allowed Kamooneh leave the scene.

He believed he used about five cents worth of electricity at the school.

Nearly two weeks later, two officers went to Kamooneh's home and arrested him for theft. He then spent more than 15 hours in jail.

According to Georgia media, authorities said they decided to pursue the case because Kamooneh did not get permission to use the school's electricity.

Kamooneh compared the situation to drinking water from a fountain or plugging a cell phone into an outlet. He said he plans to fight the charge against him.