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Your new favorite band: Larceny of Electric Power

April 2nd, 2012 · 51 comments

“The Winston Salem Transit Authority posted this memo in their depressing, dingy, bus depot,” reports Bill in North Carolina. (The WSTA‘s new motto: “Kick ’em while they’re down!)

If Security Officers see you charging your cell phone, you can and will be banned from WSTA premises for Larceny of Electric Power.

related: Your knees are pressing into my repressed rage

FILED UNDER: cell phone · North Carolina · public transit · warning · Winston-Salem · WTF?

51 responses so far ↓

  • #1   H for Toy bang

    So be sure to hide it well.

    Apr 2, 2012 at 10:21 pm   rating: 32  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Paige

      Hell, that enormous “If” says it all, really.

      Actually, coupled with the exclamation point, it genuinely sounds like a hurried warning about the security people, rather than ‘Do Not Charge’.

      Apr 3, 2012 at 6:18 am   rating: 27  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   Harmy G

      “IF you see a faded sign at the side of the road that says 15 miles to the Love Shack…”

      They never do tell you what to do IF…

      Apr 5, 2012 at 3:48 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #2   Nick

    Laptops are totally ok, though.

    Apr 2, 2012 at 10:24 pm   rating: 16  small thumbs up

  • #3   Who passed out the Haterade?

    Larceny of Electric Power… weren’t they a cover band for AC/DC?

    Apr 2, 2012 at 10:28 pm   rating: 74  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   park rose

      High voltage rock ‘n’ roll.

      Apr 3, 2012 at 12:41 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   The Elf

      Would stealing power be a dirty deed (done dirt cheap)?

      Apr 4, 2012 at 7:11 am   rating: 20  small thumbs up

  • #4   George P

    The amount of electricity needed to charge a cell phone could run into the fractions of a cent.

    Apr 2, 2012 at 10:32 pm   rating: 74  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Hane

      Cheapskate Gramma here at the electric company gives you mayjah, mayjah propz for this observation.

      Apr 3, 2012 at 9:49 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   kermit

      No only could it run into fractions of a cent, but if this was country that didn’t even have cent pieces, dear ol’ granny would have to shell out a whole nickel!

      Apr 4, 2012 at 12:21 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #5   Samsei

    My parents lived in Winston-Salem for a while in the ’90s. It used to be very much a tobacco town, though a lot of the companies have since moved away. I took the bus a few times, and at that point, about ’92 or ’93, you could still smoke _on the bus_, though you had to sit at the back. It was about as pleasant as you might imagine.

    Apr 2, 2012 at 10:35 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

  • #6   bees

    I saw them open for Gravity Fraud in ’07. Woooo!

    Apr 2, 2012 at 11:03 pm   rating: 37  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   Noelegy

      That cracks me up, it does. How would one commit Gravity Fraud?

      Apr 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   Elly

      I’m pretty sure Joan Rivers is guilty of Gravity Fraud in the first degree.

      Apr 8, 2012 at 3:48 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

  • #7   infanttyrone

    Come on folks….more security people needed to surveil ‘passengers’ and more security people needed to make sure the brash banned bastards don’t re-invade WSTA premises…stop dumping on the job creators, OK ?

    Larceny of Electric Power was a side project of Charlie Allen,
    front man of Pacific Gas & Electric. Don’t just make stuff up. :-)

    Apr 3, 2012 at 12:14 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

  • #8   geekgirl

    Or you know, larcenyofelectricpower dot tumbler dot com

    Apr 3, 2012 at 12:56 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #9   April

    Is that really a thing? I’m confused since I see people plugging their cellphones and laptops and such in outlets in public all the time! And while not in the same state, I’m also American and from a nearby state…

    Apr 3, 2012 at 1:43 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #10   Mike Rophone bang

    I sort of imagine that the band is just called Electric Power, while Larceny is the stage name of their front man. “Hi, this is Larceny of Electric Power, and you’re listening to 95.7 The Edge, home of real rock n’ roll”.

    Apr 3, 2012 at 2:45 am   rating: 41  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   Paige

      Must Google……

      Also: That electric charge was fucking delicious.

      Apr 3, 2012 at 6:15 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #11   Grant

    You too will be charged.

    Apr 3, 2012 at 5:55 am   rating: 22  small thumbs up

  • #12   Nope

    Yeah I’m sure 2-3 people charging their cell phones really racks up the bills! At least we can still plug our heavy duty appliances in at this bus depot. I’ll be bringing my kitchen down there along with my car.

    Apr 3, 2012 at 7:11 am   rating: 17  small thumbs up

  • #13   Elmo

    The Greyhound bus terminal in Pittsburgh provides charging stations so people CAN charge their phones, etc. It seems like a courteous thing to do considering that people taking longish bus trips often have time to kill between legs on a journey and because mobile phones are really useful when traveling — especially when you are using a prepaid budget system and not a high-end battery-sucking iDon’tGiveARip.

    Apr 3, 2012 at 8:43 am   rating: 19  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   weaselby

      Having lived in both North Carolina and Pittsburgh, I’m not surprised. Pittsburgh is classy. NC is backwoodsy.

      Apr 3, 2012 at 9:11 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #13.2   The Elf

      Wait….. *Pittsburgh* is classy?

      Apr 3, 2012 at 9:25 am   rating: 23  small thumbs up

    • #13.3   unsatisfied

      yes, pittsburgh is classy, you fuckin’ jagoff.

      Apr 3, 2012 at 12:06 pm   rating: 29  small thumbs up

    • #13.4   Hoopy Frood

      Compared to NC, Pittsburgh is Cary Grant.

      Apr 25, 2012 at 10:46 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #14   JC

    How stupid. i’ve never ever seen anyone else using the outlets…so what are they there for? lol

    Apr 3, 2012 at 8:55 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   kermit

      The outlets are there for the floor polishing / buffer machines or the pressure hose machine they use to clean the floor. Although I have yet to see a clean floor at any bus depot.

      Apr 4, 2012 at 12:24 am   rating: 13  small thumbs up

  • #15   Adriana

    This is just another way of saying “okay, it’s not REAL larceny ’cause that’s illegal, but we do have the authority to ban you from a place you didn’t really want to be at in the first place and make you feel bad about it, so… take that.”

    Apr 3, 2012 at 10:00 am   rating: 21  small thumbs up

  • #16   yolanda

    It’s just cheap and petty is what it is. They should be providing convenient charging stations and a wifi hot spot at a place like this, not threatening to charge you with larceny.

    Apr 3, 2012 at 10:21 am   rating: 16  small thumbs up

  • #17   QBALL

    I use my woodburning cell phone in states where using .0000002 cents worth of electricity is forbotten

    Apr 3, 2012 at 10:33 am   rating: 39  small thumbs up

  • #18   Ashley

    That’s not larceny, because they’re not depriving the owner of electricity. They still have plenty….

    Apr 3, 2012 at 11:20 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #19   Noelegy

    The phrase “Larceny of Electric Power” has a very Monty Pythonesque ring to it.

    Apr 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm   rating: 18  small thumbs up

  • #20   unsatisfied

    c’mon. how can this even be a thing? you know no one who goes to a bus station actually HAS a cell phone.

    Apr 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #20.1   Noelegy

      Well, I don’t know about that…in November of last year, a group of free-range 12-to-14-year-olds pushed a man in front of one of the DART (Dallas) trains because he wouldn’t give them his iPhone. The man was dragged by the train, his leg severed, and died almost immediately. :(

      Apr 4, 2012 at 3:44 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #20.2   The Elf

      Sure. I have a cell phone and I use buses to commute sometimes.

      Apr 4, 2012 at 4:50 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #20.3   Seanette

      I SO wish that were true. If it were, bus/train riders wouldn’t have to endure all the Jerry Springer guest-wannabes screaming all their TMI about themselves and everyone around them into their phones.

      Apr 4, 2012 at 5:11 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #21   Quite Contrary

    I’m sure it required more electricity to power the computer and printer required to produce this sign. Unless, of course, they used rub-on letters guided by the light from the sun or flickering candles. Asshats.

    Apr 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm   rating: 18  small thumbs up

  • #22   Jami

    To put another spin on it – I work in a public library where people often plug their cellphones in to charge them and walk away, leaving them there while they do other things. Ever since 9/11 people have freaked out seeing those charging cells sitting by themselves, thinking they were bombs. (Yes, I’m serious.)

    So while they might have put the sign up claiming that people were “stealing eletricity” it’s really because the emloyees were sick and tired of paranoid people who think every lone cellphone is really an Al Queda bomb.

    Apr 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm   rating: 19  small thumbs up

  • #23   havingfitz

    My job is so paranoid that someone might steal their precious electricity that if they find you with something plugged in they will cut the cord in half. Those of us who have been here a while know the risks, but it’s always amusing to watch new folks stare in horror at the pieces of their charger.

    Apr 3, 2012 at 5:04 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #23.1   Stuffin'

      What a delightful workplace this must be. I would make a habit of plugging in all of my old unwanted appliances and chargers. Just for the prospect of the seeing the electro-nazi get a nasty shock.

      Apr 3, 2012 at 8:40 pm   rating: 27  small thumbs up

    • #23.2   kermit

      So you’re not even allowed to have an electric sharpener? Geez, that’s some enviro conscious nuttery.

      Apr 4, 2012 at 12:27 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #23.3   April

      ….and you still work there??!

      Apr 4, 2012 at 1:36 am   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #23.4   Seanette

      Must make doing your job a challenge if computers can’t be plugged in. :)

      Apr 4, 2012 at 4:59 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #23.5   Hoopy Frood

      Wow. Is that a stated/posted policy somewhere, or is it just an unwritten rule they enforce?
      Because destroying someone’s personal property is a good way to lose customers & employees…

      Apr 25, 2012 at 10:51 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #24   jugstopper

    I am pretty sure that Larceny of Electric Power was a spinoff of ELO (The Electric Light Orchestra.)

    Apr 4, 2012 at 8:09 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #25   SalemGirl

    lol! I saw that the other day and I couldn’t even believe it. Way to go WSTA.

    Apr 5, 2012 at 8:37 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #26   Zak

    On the London Underground, they use a socket design that’s slightly different to the UK standard to prevent people plugging devices in. The cleaning staff use plugs on their machines that fit the ‘Walsall Gauge 13 A’ sockets.


    Apr 6, 2012 at 5:46 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #27   Mike

    This happened to me. Some Jackass waiter in a NJ diner wouldn’t let me plug in my computer at a diner while actually trying to eat something. This was back in 2000 before everyone had a laptop. I ended up plugging it in anyway and he got mad at me. I am not sure what the hell his deal was, you would think a waiter would understand a guy having to work for a living. It was also on my 22 birthday. Talk about being a crappy day. I don’t really remember the name of the diner, but if i did, i sure as hell would have given them a bad review (if they had that sort of thing back then)

    Apr 7, 2012 at 2:33 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #28   Bee

    I lived in Osaka for a while, and walked through a major transit centre’s big open courtyard on my way to work. The courtyard was full of powerpoints, and I lost count of the number of times I’d see girls crouched beside the powerpoints with their hair straighteners plugged in, doing their hair. I don’t ever recall any of them being charged with larceny of electric power…

    Apr 10, 2012 at 7:32 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #29   kwame

    Hi all. By sheer coincidence, I also discussed the sign with my undergraduate students. One of the students discovered this website and passed it along to me. About a month ago, I complained about this sign to the WSTA manager. Roughly 3 weeks later they changed the signs. You can have a look at the new sign here:

    Apr 11, 2012 at 12:03 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up


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