A 78-year-old Australian man has been fined $500 (£280) by the police for stealing electricity from a local council’s power box to charge his electric vehicle (EV).
The incident occurred on Sunday when the man was spotted charging his car in Mount Barker, which is located 363km southeast of Perth.
It’s illegal in Western Australia to charge an electric car in public, except at an approved service point. The local police took to Twitter on Tuesday evening to warn EV drivers against such behaviour and stated that they would prosecute in every instance.
“To clarify. If you want to recharge your e-vehicle, DON’T steal the electricity to do so. Police will prosecute in EVERY instance. This recharge cost the vehicle owner a $500 fine, for stealing from the Shire. Be better,” the tweet read.
The police also used the opportunity to point out an available charging station in Mount Barker, as well as others in the surrounding areas.
The incident has sparked a debate online over the lack of charging infrastructure in regional areas. While some have argued that it highlights the challenges of EVs in such areas, others have called for more charging stations to be installed.