Five cents' worth of power turned into 15 hours in jail for a Georgia man after he was arrested for stealing electricity from an Atlanta-area middle school, Atlanta TV station WXIA reported Wednesday.
Kaveh Kamooneh was at Chamblee Middle School one Saturday in November for tennis lessons when he decided to charge his Nissan Leaf while he took his lesson.
A Chamblee police officer arrived shortly after Kamooneh plugged in his car, and asked Kamooneh if he had permission from school authorities to charge the car. When Kamooneh said he did not, the officer charged him with theft.
"He said that he was going to charge me with theft by taking because I was taking power, electricity from the school," Kamooneh said in the WXIA report.
Kamooneh estimated that he used about 5 cents' worth of electricity while charging his car for 20 minutes.
"I'm not sure how much electricity he stole," Chamblee police Sergeant Ernesto Ford said. The amount wasn't the issue, Ford said.
"He broke the law. He stole something that wasn't his."
Kamooneh was not arrested at the scene, but the officer filed a report. Eleven days later, two police officers showed up at Kamooneh's home in Decatur, Ga., and arrested him.
Kamooneh spent over 15 hours in the DeKalb County Jail for the theft. According to a CBS Atlanta report, Ford said school officials did not ask the department to arrest Kamooneh, and that the department would "absolutely" take such action again.
Earlier reports said that Kamooneh was charging his car while watching his son's tennis practice, but a statement issued by Chamblee City Manager and Police Chief Marc Johnson Wednesday night stated:
Mr. Kamooneh's son is not a student at the middle school and he was not the one playing tennis. Mr. Kamooneh was taking lessons himself.