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Man charging iPhone on London Overground nicked for ‘abstracting electricity’

A London artist has revealed his anger after being arrested for charging his smartphone using the mains socket on a London Overground train.

Robin Lee, 45, was nicked by officers on Friday after a Police Community Support Officer accused him of ‘abstracting electricity’ by plugging his device into the outlet intended for the train’s cleaners.

Lee told the Evening Standard he was handcuffed, taken to a police van and escorted to a British Transport Police station in Islington after police officers at Camden Road station were alerted to the ‘crime.’

The man was later “de-arrested,” but that hasn’t stopped the Londoner venting his ire over the incident, citing an “overzealous community support officer.”

“She said I’m abstracting electricity,” Lee told the Standard. “She kept saying it’s a crime. We were just coming into the station, and there happened to be about four police officers on the platform. She called to them and said ‘This guy’s been abstracting electricity, he needs to be arrested’.

“I was just incredulous,” he added. “They should never have arrested me, they knew it was ridiculous. The whole thing was just ridiculous.

Lee isn’t off the hook just yet, as the Crown Prosecution Service will now review the incident to decide whether charges will be brought against him.

Read more: iPhone 6 vs iPhone 5S: Should you upgrade?

A spokesperson for London Overground confirmed the sockets are not intended for public use, so let this be a warning to you opportunistic folks seeking a little supplementary power whenever you see a mains outlet in the wild. You never know who’s electricity you may be ‘abstracting.’

If you want to see another London-based tech disaster, you should check out our Apple Watch race video:

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