A U.K. man was arrested for suspicion of stealing electricity, after using an outlet on an overground train to charge his iPhone. Robin Lee, 45, an artist who lives in Islington, north London, was detained by police who were waiting for him when he debarked from the train.
Photo by Alex Segre/REX Shutterstock (3436388az) London Overground train pulling into Harringay Green Lanes station, London, England, Britain London, Britain – 2013
He plugged his iPhone into a socket on the train but was approached by a police community support officer on board who warned him he was illegally extracting electricity. The sockets on overground trains are reserved for the use of cleaning staff.
Lee was traveling on a train from Hackney Wick and got off at Camden Road, where police officers were waiting for him on the platform, he told The Evening Standard.
Lee said he attempted to push past the officers on the platform, but was arrested and taken to a British Transport Police station in Caledonian Road. Lee was eventually “de-arrested” on the stealing electricity “charge,” but was then arrested for unacceptable behavior.
“They should never have arrested me,” he said. “The whole thing was just ridiculous. It was an overzealous community support officer. She said I’m abstracting electricity. She kept saying it’s a crime.”
A spokesman for British Transport Police (BTP) provided a statement that said:
“We were called to Camden Road London Overground station on Friday, 10 July to a report of a man becoming aggressive when challenged by a PCSO about his use of a plug socket on board an Overground train.
“Shortly after 3.30pm, a 45-year-old man from Islington was arrested on suspicion of abstracting electricity, for which he was de-arrested shortly after.
“He was further arrested for unacceptable behavior and has been reported for this offense.”
The spokesman noted Lee’s behavior will be reviewed before passing the details to the Crown Prosecution Service who will then decide if any charges will be brought against him.
A Transport for London spokeswoman noted that on board London Overground trains, there are signs near the outlets that state they are for “cleaners use only and not for public use”.