Stolen Tesla Model S Tracked In Real Time – Suspect Surrounded By Police & Arrested

NOV 4 2015 BY MARK KANE 31

Tesla Model S P85D

Tesla Model S

Stealing Tesla Model S isn’t easy, as the car’s real time position is monitored.

When an owner notices that the Model S gone, he/she can use the smartphone app to locate the car and check where it’s headed.

One such case, the first in Canada, was reported recently by Katya Pinkowski in Vancouver.

Pinkowski’s Tesla 85D, bought in 2014, disappeared.

“The car had mysteriously disappeared, however, and the towing company told Pinkowski it hadn’t picked up any Teslas that night, she said.

Her next call, to her husband Cary, quickly turned up the location of the high-tech electric vehicle: According to the Tesla Model S app on his smartphone, it was cruising through Richmond at 70 kilometres per hour, presumably with a thief behind the wheel.

“I could watch him go in and out all the streets in Richmond,” Cary Pinkowski said.

The thief, it turns out, had gained access to the car using an extra electronic key fob the couple had bought earlier in the week and mistakenly left inside the vehicle.”

The rest was pretty simple for police, who surrounded the vehicle and safely made an arrest. As it turns out, even the 911 operator was excited to find the car that way.

Read more at The Province, Video – CTV News, via Tesla Motors Club, Electrek, hat tip to Ian!

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31 Comments on "Stolen Tesla Model S Tracked In Real Time – Suspect Surrounded By Police & Arrested"

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Tesla has created the prefect Bait Car in that the car was able to catch the suspect without the police having to do a huge stake out. And the police were able to keep track of it without using tons of resources.

I would imagine a professional car thief would likely disable the antenna. I would also think you could pull the 12V battery if you were going to tow it away.

Or drive it into the back of a truck with zinc shielding to block radio waves, and disable the antenna and 12V battery as the truck drives away.

There are four antennas in pillars for better reception. Kind of hard to disconnect.

Yeah, but there’s very little can stop a car thief who wants to go to such extreme measures. Zinc shielded truck? Seriously now, most car theft is opportunistic. A tracking chip will literally defeat 90%+ of car thieves.

In areas that are near both the ocean and shipping ports, professional car thief rings steal/tow high-end luxury cars and SUVs, and drive them into an 18-wheeler with a shipping container trailer that block radio signals. The shipping container is put on a cargo ship within days, and in a week or two the luxury cars and SUVs arrive in eastern Europe or the Middle East and are sold. Apparently, in these countries the VIN of the stolen car is not a deterrent to selling the car for a handsome profit. Here is a news story about a car theft ring in Toronto using shipping containers for exporting the stolen cars. I’m guessing by the link in your screen name that you’re from the UK. A quick Google search shows an example in the UK where the bumbling thieves put some Land Rovers into a container without radio signal blocking, and the police stopped the container before it could be exported. I don’t know exactly what the thieves use to block radio signals. Probably the same stuff used to make the bag that holds your electronic toll tag when you don’t want the toll booth to read the… Read more »

Pulling the 12v in a Model S is a little more difficult than it sounds. It’s not comparable to an removing/disconnecting an ICE 12v.

Take the nose cone off and disconnect 12V battery is OTOH rather easy task.

u don’t know what u’r talking about.. the 12V battery is not lokated behind the noscone, and can not be discon. from there..!

To steal a Tesla is possible. But what to do with it? Joyride for a hour or two maybe, or sell it in parts ?

You can’t drive or update the car at all without the computer and 3G on.

I think Tesla can stop the car at any time and for sure not let a stolen car charge att SC or at home.
Not easy to find a buyer for a stolen Tesla, not even in Russia.
So do not leave a FOB inside the car !

Yea, But …BTW, How did the thief get the car going without the key Fob?

please read text:
“gained access to the car using an extra electronic key fob the couple had bought earlier in the week and mistakenly left inside the vehicle”

DUUUU 0n my part, I was reading tooo fast ,. lol.. thx . cheers

Trophy wife who left a key fob in her Tesla that allowed it be stolen calls the thief who stole her Tesla for a joyride, the “stupidest thief in Canada.”

It seems that there is plenty of stupidity to go around for both parties, the thief and the owner. In the US, in most jurisdictions, if the owner leaves their keys or FOB in plain sight in the car, the owner will be liable for any damage/injuries caused by a thief driving the car. It’s a very low hurdle to avoid liability: don’t leave your keys or your FOB in the car.

MAYBE She lent it to her boyfriend..& the guy played along,& pretended he was the thief….

There is an option on the 17″ center display to disable remote access to the car via cell phone. That should have been the first thing the thief should have done.


Tesla could still track it.

When a Volt owner does this, it’s only local news. When a Tesla owner does it it’s international news. Sheesh.

Well Yea, the husband had no idea she had lent it to her boyfriend, so he reported it stolen… lol

Except you can’t track a Volt unless you have paid the outrageous monthly OnStar rates after your free trial period is up.

When will Tesla has a feature to prevent bimbo left key fob in the car?

Her boyfriend Liked the Tesla So Much that He Refused to Return it to her. So she had no choice but to call her husband & track the car.

Wow, why all the hostility toward someone who left their key fob in the car? Is there a single person here who has driven a car for at least a few years, who has never gone off and left their keys behind in the car?

“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” — John 8:7

Loosen up, Only having some light hearted fun with it , Don’t take it so seriously…

No i’ve never left the keys or a fob in any car in my 3 years of driving.

Because i sort of lock my car when i close the door and make sure its locked every single time. Its routine

And its not possible for me to forget the keys in the car.

You should ask a neurologist about this.

It’s easy to forget things when your routine is broken.

It could be a sign of early onset dementia…

OMG, you’re actually quoting biblical scripture into an EV Blog… O_O

Yes, it is neat. It was neat in 2013 when my Ford Fusion (via MyFordMobile app) had it too… I would watch my car at the Dealership in for scheduled maintenance and see them move it to the charger area when done.

I don’t get speed or direction, but I do see it overlaid MapQuest maps.

I think a nice feature would be a geofence or speed warnings.

Another Fusion feature is the camouflaged combo lock in the driver door trim that lights up when touched. When I go for a run I lock the car with the FOB left inside so I don’t have to carry the FOB.