Breaking and entering a Tesla Model 3 via app
Running out of battery while on the run can happen to the best of thieves and the longest range EVs. In this case, the thief had disabled the GPS but was tracked whenever he stopped at a Supercharger. But there is more to this case than just an online billing system.
In fact, the first question is, how he managed to steal the electric car in the first place. While a clear account is still outstanding, it appears it was all through the app.
The Tesla in question was a Model 3 offered at a rental car company in Minnesota. The suspect, a regular customer, just walked up to the parked car and was able to open it. The police believe that “the man somehow manipulated the Tesla app to unlock and start the car, disabling the GPS before leaving town,” according to Electrek.
Another explanation is that the thief managed to convince Tesla to add the rental car to his existing Tesla account. The EV maker does this sometimes for owners, who are loaning a vehicle to enable such app features as unlocking and starting the vehicle without the key.
However he did it, they were able to track him down by following his Supercharger route and so the Tesla stolen in Minnesota could be found in Texas days later.
The theft was added to Tesla’s stats in the US. According to Electrek, out of 115 stolen Tesla electric vehicles in the States, 112 have been recovered.
We like to recall one case of Tesla theft in particular. It was when an entire Tesla store in Salt Lake City was broken into. The robbers had left the doors open. The police found no less than four different parties, all with wild explanations and various degrees of guilt. Most of them ran out of battery too at some point.