Tesla Model S Stolen, Recovered Via App & Bike

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Originally published on EV Obsession.

In another example of the way that Tesla’s passenger vehicles stand out from the crowd… a commenter by the name of “Nicomaco” on the Tesla Motors Club forum just related an interesting story about his Model S 60 being stolen — and subsequently recovered using the car’s management app.

We’ve covered some similar stories in the past, giving one the impression that when Tesla’s electric vehicles (EVs) are stolen that they are generally quite easy to recover (whatever state that they may be in). That’s good news for Tesla owners.

Here’s the full story:

“LOML left her key in our 2014 S60 last night when running an errand. We keep the car in our driveway, and when I woke up this morning and walked outside to bring the trash out, I saw the car was gone. I pulled up the app, saw that it was parked ~1/2 mile away with ~70 miles less charge on the battery than it should have had. Rather than call the cops and wait (maybe not a good decision…), I got on my bike and rode over to where the car was. Sure enough it was parked on the side of the street with nary a scratch on it. I threw the bike in the trunk, hopped in, and drove back home. The car wreaks of pot and the last 30 miles averaged ~460 w-h/mi…

“The thief/joy rider still has one key so we called Tesla and their excellent service department is reprogramming the car/keys right now. I’m also filling a police report just to have everything on record. But I’m very happy to have the car back with no apparent damage, and I’ll never buy another car that doesn’t have a phone app with a locator….”

Personally I’d be a bit irritated if I didn’t get to make sure that the one (or those) responsible faced some kind of repercussions. After all, if there’s no downside, then why not do it again?

Notably, the thief was (or thieves were) “just” taking advantage of an open door, though, as easy opportunity — a more involved theft where the keys weren’t literally left in the car probably wasn’t in the cards otherwise, from the sound of it.

Presumably, someone just wanted to take a closer look at the rather fancy-looking Model S, and realized that there was actually nothing stopping them from taking it for a ride. And ethics regarding property/ownership apparently didn’t kick in, or at least not strongly enough.

Even if that’s the case, though, it would probably have been a good thing if there were repercussions…. Now that fellow is probably going to be looking at every Model S or Model X that he sees with greed in his eyes. After all he/she did get away scot-free (I suppose that expression has extra relevance right now, considering recent political news).

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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