You’re reading Electrek— experts who break news about Tesla, electric vehicles, and green energy, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow Electrek on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our YouTube channel for the latest reviews.

Tesla owners have been reporting on forums and social media recently that thieves appear to be targeting Tesla vehicles.

Dozens of break-ins have been flagged, especially in the Bay Area, in the last few weeks and owners are now trying to find some solutions to the problem.

Over the past month and a half, we have been seeing an increasing number of Tesla owners, especially Model 3 owners, taking to social media to report break-ins.

The incidents range from one to several broken windows and in some cases, thieves targeted especially Tesla vehicles all in the same lot.

Model 3 owners have gathered data about the recent break-ins, which shows that they have been concentrated in the Bay Area:

Redditor and Model 3 owner /u/itsmeritesh reported that his car was broken into in Mountain View last month.

His case appears to be typical. The Model 3 doesn’t have a sensor to detect that a window has been broken so thieves break the back quarter window to lower the seat and see if there’s something in the trunk.

If they see something, they break the whole back side window and get in.

Here are some pictures of the break-in that /u/itsmeritesh shared on /r/Teslamotors:

He said that the security guard at Century cinemas parking lot where his Model 3 was parked told him that it was increasingly common lately:

“The security patrol came around and said that thieves are hitting Teslas hard. Mostly Model S and Model 3s. I read later that the same lot had 12 break-ins last week.”

Several other owners have been reporting similar incidents over the past month or so.

One owner caught the thieves on his dashcam:

Last month, Tesla started offering and installing a new Enhanced Anti-Theft system that would help prevent those break-ins, but it’s currently only available for Model S and Model X.

Many of the reported incidents involve the Model 3.

Like any other cars, it’s not recommended to leave any valuable item inside, but the problem is so rampant that many people are getting their windows broken even though they have nothing in the car.

Thieves are just breaking the windows to lower the seat and see if there’s anything in the trunk.

Two other Model 3 owners have come up with a device to lock the rear seats and clearly indicate to the thieves that they wouldn’t be able to access the trunk:

If you have any other ideas or potential solution, please let us know in the comment section below.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.

About the Author