One recent morning, Bob Schneiderman realized something was missing as he stepped out into the driveway of his Mid-City Los Angeles home. It is the most important charging cord for electric vehicles.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Schneiderman told the NBC4 I team. “It didn’t make sense. I thought maybe I had misplaced it somewhere.”
Then, with a hunch, he looked back at the RING security camera and saw that at 5:22 a.m., a man in a hoodie and mask walked down the driveway, unplugged the cord from the car, and pulled the other end out of the wall. I noticed. He plugged it in, got on his bike and off he went.
“This guy was so fast,” Schneiderman said. “He was very quick with it.”
There are now over one million electric vehicles in California, and the expensive cables used to charge them have become a popular item for thieves. List electric vehicles on the site or sell them for scrap.
On apps like Nextdoor, people across Southern California are posting videos of thieves stealing EV charging cables, often within about 13 seconds.
“I caught a guy on a bike trying to steal my charger. The man posted on Next Door.
“A man tried to break into my car. [to steal the charging cord]…but a neighbor stopped him. Within weeks, two other neighbors were also robbed of theirs,” another resident posted.
“I never worried about charging my car in the driveway,” Schneiderman told NBC4. “I’ve had electric cars for eight years and never had a problem.”
Also, replacing the stolen cable was expensive at $2,700, while other EV charging cords were much cheaper.
To keep EV charging cords safe from theft, police suggest:
- Try to charge your car in a locked garage if possible
- If you don’t have a garage, try charging your EV away from Street View
- If charging in your driveway, use a padlock to secure the outdoor wall outlet you use to connect the cable.