Los Angeles

Tesla Security Feature Helps LAPD Identify the Car's Burglars

When he returned to his burglarized car, he discovered that he had video, stills and closeups of the thieves.

A Los Angeles Tesla owner said thieves picked the wrong smart cart to mess with.

Nishant Patel, a Santa Clarita urologist, bought a 2017 Tesla Model-S because of its speed and innovation, but it wasn't until a car burglary that he was able to see one of the vehicle's newest security features in action.

Patel said his vehicle was burglarized July 24 in downtown Los Angeles on the corner of Spring and Wilhardt Street. He had stopped to eat at a restaurant, and when he returned to his car, the front right window was shattered. His bag, which contained his computer, his checkbook, and an expired prescription pad, was missing from the back seat.

Patel said he missed the initial emergency alarm sent to his phone, but when he returned to the car, he discovered that he had video, stills and closeups of the thieves to show to police.

The Tesla's security footage shows two heavy-set men approaching and looking into the vehicle through the tinted windows. The men are then shown breaking through the front passenger window and grabbing the bag.

The men, however, are not aware that the vehicle is recording their faces and their every move in full color.

Patel said his car is like its own police officer.

"For some reason, they thought this was the best target. They picked the wrong car. If you're a crook, you might want to think twice about breaking into a Tesla," Patel said.

LAPD Central detectives told Patel that they were able to identify both suspects using the images captured by the Tesla, and they will update him with more information on the suspects' arrest.

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