Homeless Woman Charged with ‘Theft of Services’ for Charging Cell Phone

By Walter Einenkel, Daily Kos – Streetroots news has an interesting and entirely frustrating account of the wasteful criminalization of a homeless woman in Portland. This past July, a homeless Portland woman was charged with third-degree theft when she plugged her cell phone charger into an outlet on a sidewalk planter box in Old Town. Cases in which people are charged with theft for plugging electronic devices into private outlets are uncommon, but defense attorneys say they’re another example of resources wasted for frivolous offenses. Portland patrol officers cited her for third degree “theft of services.” According to Streetroots, it costs about .25 cents a year to power a cell phone. According to Forbes it costs about. 12 cents a year. Either way, wow. She was charged with stealing a percentage of a penny from the impoverished taxpayers in Portland. The woman, called “Jackie” in this article for anonymity, was justifiably...

Read More...