Tesla Owner Tracks Stolen Model S On iPhone App (w/video)


Stolen Tesla Tracked With App

Stolen Tesla Tracked With App

Tesla Model S owner Shahin Pirani tracked her stolen EV on the Tesla iPhone app as it hit speeds of up to 100 MPH during a high-speed chase Wednesday night in San Diego.

As the story goes, Pirani stepped out of her friend’s house and immediately noticed that her Model S was gone.   Pirani stated:

“Of course we panicked, not thinking what to do.”

Pirani did what any educated Model S owner would do: she pulled up her Tesla app to track the vehicles whereabouts.

“Sure enough it showed us that the car was within half a mile from where we were.”

Pirani’s friend drove her to the Model S’ location while police were called.

Per NBC San Diego:

“When police arrived, the suspect, along with one passenger, fled in the car and led police on a 20-minute chase.”

Pirani adds:

“The car was actually running at 100 mph so we figured the car was being chased by the cops.”

Eventually, police were able to bring the car to a halt after deploying to sets of spike strips.  Both occupants of the stolen Model S fled on foot, but were apprehended by police.  The passenger was transported to the hospital for apparent injuries.

On the scene, Pirani commented:

“The car is here and all the cops are here, the helicopter is here; so the navigation definitely did an amazing job.”

“After this, I’m not going to get any other car for sure.”

How was the Model S stolen?  It’s widely believed that Pirani left the key fob in the vehicle, as the Model S itself is darn near impossible to steal without the fob.

*Video footage via Fox 5 San Diego


Categories: Tesla


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25 Comments on "Tesla Owner Tracks Stolen Model S On iPhone App (w/video)"

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Smart cookie in using her app to follow the car – but not so smart leaving the key in the car …uh…HELLO-O?


Very glad she was able to get it back! Those spike strips can be murder on the tires, hope she doesn’t have “BLA BLA INSURANCE – Person come help!” lol

James, where did you disappear to for a while?

I’m around! You see my comments around here – but I’m not too popular as I tell it like it is about the BMW i3 and i8. LOL

Been considering my own EV-related website as of late. Still up in the air if I can make enough time to make it all it should be.

The Volt’s still providing excellent duty, and definitely looking forward to v.2. It could be my next car until Model III arrives, then all bets are off!

“but I’m not too popular as I tell it like it is about the BMW i3 and i8”

funny, I thought it had more to do with cluelessness about repetition of repetition, equating your personal perceptions to absolute facts and nearly Yelling at posters that disagreed with your ‘conclusions’, i.e. or are you another BMW lover who…

please review your 64 posts on the subject..

but, nahhh.. don’t bother, cuz I’m yet Another Idiot that Just Doesn’t Get It.

humbly “tellin’ it like it is”

Don’t hold back. Tell us how you really feel.

@Phr3d I’m truly no BMW, Mercedes, Audi or VW hater Phr. I’m not sure if you’re married and/or have kids or not. It’s a situation like having a family, wherein you patiently share concerns with them like shutting lights off when you leave a room, nor not wasting electricity by leaving devices on, etc. – then getting completely ignored and watching the same mistakes being made over and over again. I’ve pointed out the shortcomings and quite obvious expenses of i3 yet, like my family, I seem to get hate and name-called, but no logical nor factual counterpoints sent back. It’s like in one ear and out the other. It’s why every film touting i3’s “carbon fiber construction”, or “highly efficient, clever weight reduction requiring a smaller battery” – type claims just keep getting printed on this website and all over the web, basically. I’ve tried to share knowledge of CFRP repair, BMW’s insurance claims, frustrating opposing rear doors and all sorts of points – only to get people who can only say “it’s a premium product”! Yet they cannot say why it’s worth nearly twice as much as a Nissan LEAF. The few folks who have made counterpoints have… Read more »

* BMW Snob guy I spoke with – I am certainly glad he chose to drive electric and hold that alone above all other transportation choices.

His choice to buy an i3? I say it looks as if by 2017-18 we Americans can choose to buy a Model III and hold our heads high knowing not only did we buy a product built by American hands, boosting our own economy – AND drive a car superior to anything else offered by foreign brands!

For now, my Volt puts a big smile on my face as am completely pleased with the risk I took buying an American car. I read about the troubles pure BEV owners have with public chargers and feel I have found a ( current ) ingenious and inventive American solution to range anxiety and travel with minimal limitations. I drove a Prius for 7 years and the comparison between this domestic EREV and that now-aging technology a revelation.


Once you are in the car you can deactivated the tracking device, I hope Tesla would add a password to be able to disable this future.

Tracking apps are pretty standard today. Nothing too special. Just ask LoJack.

I do wonder if she left the fob in the car or whether the fob has an extended range or whether the thief was just super talented.

Electric Car Guest Drive

LoJack does not give consumers access to the car location, direction and speed on their iPhone. It’s also a $700-$1,300 extra cost option.

That was my point. LoJack can’t compete with the new technologies.


It does have one advantage though. It’s a standalone unit that can be hidden in various places within the car, making disabling it more difficult.

It will be really interesting to see how they compete in the coming years. I have to imagine that this will quickly become standard equipment. Just finding your car in a huge parking lot is a big bonus, to mention nothing about being able to keep tabs on kids or employees.

But my Ford Focus Electric does allow me access to location at any time. I assume the Leaf app does this also?

The Leaf allows you to look at battery range remaining but the user doesn’t have access to location. Nissan probably does but we don’t

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

It’s a shame that Tesla can’t disable the motor remotely while leaving the steering/braking/lighting/etc. running.

Remote valet mode would be a good idea.

Electric Car Guest Drive

Putting it in limp mode with the flashers and horn tapping out SOS would probably be safer and more effective.

Seems like the police could get Tesla to shut the vehicle down in a case like this, instead of risking their lives and the lives of others chasing it around at 100+ mph.

Remote disable would be a acceptable choice provided that there is 2 factor verify to make sure that there is a valid reason to stop the car and not someone with ill intent trying to get someone fleeing potential harm or worse ( not everybody acts in your best intrest nor uses power on a equal basis)

They should have a “my car is stolen” button in the app. Then Tesla could send a message to the thief that the car is shutting down and then reduce power available gradually to zero and activate the hazards.

On Star already has this, but they have a whole call-center setup that Tesla doesn’t. I remember seeing a clip about the On-Star “Stolen Vehicle Slowdown and Assistance” on CNBC a few years ago, and interestingly they happened to be driving a Volt. On Star contacted local police, guided them to the car’s location, then On Star caused the 4-ways to flash (but it 4-ways don’t appear to be flashing on the dashboard). When the cop has ID’d the car, On Star sent a ‘slow down’ command for apprehension.

I found the CNBC Clip. It’s just about as I remembered it. Interestingly, the ‘slowdown’ literally brings the car to a stop:


Electric Car Guest Drive

Great share, thanks Jim!

Hazard lights should begin to flash and the car begins to slow down to a stop and tells the driver to pull over the car is shutting down.

So simple, Tesla better do it