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How do you confront someone you catch trying to unplug your car?

bwbrs

Member
Sep 9, 2020
60
70
NJ
This happened to me last night as I was leaving the grocery store. The shop has a few destination chargers for shoppers to use. I get back to my car and watch the couple sentry notifications. Nothing out of the ordinary, except one kid, who peels into the spot next to me. Swings open his door, looks in my window, turns around and walks towards the store. As he does, he tries to yank out the charger from my car. This wasn't another EV owner trying to juice their car up either, just an idiot.

Literally as I'm watching this clip he comes walking out. I look at him, he sees me, probably realizes what he did and bolts into his car and drives away before I can even say anything.

Have any of you had a similar experience or said something to someone?
 

bwbrs

Member
Sep 9, 2020
60
70
NJ
You're lucky they were destination chargers, they are properly locked in the car. J1772 chargers are not properly locked, it's the adapter that's locked, so technically people can unplug your car. I am using a 3d-printed "ring" to lock them together, as others do, just for "moron" cases like what you describe.

Yeah, that was the first accessory I actually bought for my car. It's a great piece of mind!
 
This happened to me last night as I was leaving the grocery store. The shop has a few destination chargers for shoppers to use. I get back to my car and watch the couple sentry notifications. Nothing out of the ordinary, except one kid, who peels into the spot next to me. Swings open his door, looks in my window, turns around and walks towards the store. As he does, he tries to yank out the charger from my car. This wasn't another EV owner trying to juice their car up either, just an idiot.

Literally as I'm watching this clip he comes walking out. I look at him, he sees me, probably realizes what he did and bolts into his car and drives away before I can even say anything.

Have any of you had a similar experience or said something to someone?

Make a hang tag that says something like “Warning - Risk of electrocution or damage if you try to remove this while charging. You are being recorded, smile for the cameras!” and put it in the handle.
 

Krash

Data Technician
Moderator
Apr 18, 2017
2,335
2,586
Intermountain US
To answer the question of how to confront someone. Don’t. What is the upside of confronting them?

People have anger management issues, hold grudges, take drugs, carry guns, own knives or are simply tough enough to inflict damage on you by hand. Confrontation is mostly downside.

No need to punish them for being a turd. Being a turd is it’s own punishment.
 

Krash

Data Technician
Moderator
Apr 18, 2017
2,335
2,586
Intermountain US
...Being a turd is it’s own punishment.
Slightly off topic but here is a turd move. I was on the phone with a friend when he hopped in his car this week to leave a parking lot. When he went to start his car the exhaust sound was deafening. Someone had gone through the parking lot with a cutoff saw and stolen all the catalytic converters. I didn’t even know that was a thing.
 
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totoro722

Member
Supporting Member
May 21, 2020
196
220
SoCal / Oregon
Slightly off topic but here is a turd move. I was on the phone with a friend when he hopped in his car this week to leave a parking lot. When he went to start his car the exhaust sound was deafening. Someone had gone through the parking lot with a cutoff saw and stolen all the catalytic converters. I didn’t even know that was a thing.

Disappointing to hear that is still being done. Glad that is one more thing I don’t have to deal with in a Tesla!
 
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ChadS

Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
3,434
2,879
Redmond, WA
I once saw one of the turds in action. I looked out my office window and saw a car stop behind an employee's truck. The driver got out while leaving the car running and door open, looked around, then ducked down below the employee's truck with a big wrench - he was going for the catalytic converter. The employee wasn't very productive, so I looked the other way.

Ha! Just kidding, the employee was great. I went flying down the stairs and out the door. (I could have called 911, or grabbed the camera phone on my desk, but I'm afraid I skipped the planning phase - I just ran. I didn't want to endanger any employees, so even though I ran past a lot of people, I intentionally didn't ask anybody to come with me. I did at least yell for someone to call 911). My first-two-seconds-plan was to jump on the guy and keep him on the ground until the police arrived. But during my second two seconds of thought, I realized that this was a property crime - nobody was being threatened or harmed - and wasn't sure I could even legally detain him, much less initiate a scuffle. So I opted to at least interrupt the crime, and make him uncomfortable enough to perhaps reconsider his line of work. I closed his car door and stood in front of it, said something dorky about not doing that, and suddenly wished he didn't have such a large wrench. Other options started to occur to me now (like taking his cars keys - or even his car) but it was too late to switch to yet another plan. Another great illustration of the importance of planning ahead, rather than just leaping in to action.

Fortunately his focus was on getting in his car, and my focus was on not getting hit by the wrench. We both achieved our objectives, and I ended up with the wrench. As he drove off, I smashed his rear window and got his license plate number. I saved the wrench for the police, though likely my fingerprints had wiped out his.

I tried looking up the law later to see what my legal options for stopping the guy were. I didn't find any solid info, just a whole bunch of widely varying opinions.

Of course, this is all way beyond the OP's scenario. I would "confront" an unplugger, but with no more than a politely-worded question about their objective if no harm was done. But that's all theoretical; in over a decade I have never been unplugged. In my experience (YMMV) having a catalytic converter stolen is more likely...
 
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