Katya Pinkowski attended a concert in Vancouver on Thursday night before finding that her car was missing from the parking lot when she returned.
She made sure that her Tesla Model S hadn’t been towed and then asked her husband to check the car’s location on the Tesla App. The automaker’s smartphone app lets owners gain access to certain features of the car; luckily for Pinkowski one of those is its current location, writes Fred Lambert for Electrek.
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Tesla owners able to direct police units to exact location of vehicle
Husband Cary used the app to find that the Tesla Model S 85D was currently being driven through Richmond, a city south of Vancouver. The app told him the car was moving at 43 miles per hour, presumably with a thief at the controls.
Armed with that information Cary called 911 and told the operator exactly where his car was. Far from ruining the Pinkowski’s day, it seems as though they actually enjoyed bringing the thief into the hands of the law.
“It was so much fun, actually. I could tell the 911 operator was excited … they’d never had this before, where they could actually track the car […] I could watch him go in and out all the streets in Richmond,” said Cary.
Real-time tracking data proves to be thief’s downfall
They did consider calling Tesla to see if they automaker was able to shut down the car, but instead decided that it was a matter for the local police. The police force told local press that they were able to stop the car and arrest the thief.
“This is the first such Tesla recovery our detachment has encountered. What was unique in this incident was the ability for the Tesla owner to provide the E-Comm police dispatcher with accurate real-time tracking data,” read a statement.
A 24-year-old male was taken to the station for possession of stolen property and the Pinkowskis got their car back just a few hours after it was stolen. According to reports the thief was able to drive away in the Model S because the Pinkowskis had left a spare fob key in their car by mistake.
It is incredibly rare to hear reports of the Model S being stolen, presumably because most thieves are aware that the cars are constantly connected to the internet and tracked by the Tesla smartphone app.