Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw Enforcement & Police · 4 weeks ago

Is it illegal to use a public power outlet ?

Behind my apartment complex, there’s a two story parking structures with power outlets in it and there are also chargers  where people can charge their electric vehicles. The structure belongs to a business next door. On the weekends when business is close I see all kinds of people come in all the time to charge their vehicles, and sometimes people hang out in the parking lot using their phone or laptops, one time I saw a guy using the outlet to charge his laptop. 

So I’m curious If power outlets are “illegal” to use even though there’s no signs saying general public can’t use outlet. 

Update:

I’ve even heard of people getting arrested for using public outlet to charge their vehicles, it’s crazy.

6 Answers

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  • 3 weeks ago

    Yes it is. Unless you're a patron of the nearby parking garage, you must never use their public power outlet. You may think it's crazy for people getting arrested for theft of service, but the owners already have the legal say who can use it. The garage is private property and the wise thing you can do is just stay away.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    If the users are paying for the electricity, then it's probably okay. If they are stealing the electricity, then its probably illegal.

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  • Bruce
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    A parking structure may be public or private. Can you use it? That is up to the business that owns the outlet. If there is a sign that restricts use to customers and you are not a customer, that is theft. If it is a private structure, it could also be trespassing. 

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  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    The fact that this place and its outlets are accessible to the public does not mean that it's okay to use the parking structure to charge your devices, or to camp there, or to use it as a skateboard park, or anything else. It's privately owned property and the outlets are there for the use of their patrons, not the general public.

    People who charge anything there can be charged with Theft of Service as well as Trespassing.

    It's analagous to a privately owned website, like Yahoo Answers, and whether it's okay for people to use it to advertise their business, because hey, it's wide open to the public.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    It is up to the owner of the structure to decide if they want to allow that. It's only public if the government owns it.

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  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    No, it's not illegal to use a public power outlet

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