TeslaCam, Tesla’s onboard integrated dashcam system using Autopilot cameras, helped the police make an arrest in a strange case that has been terrorizing Southern California’s roads for weeks.
Over the last few weeks, the police in Riverside, Orange, and Los Angeles counties have received over 100 reports of vehicles being shot by BBs or pellets on freeways.
The attacks appeared random and often involved shooting at the windows of moving vehicles, which obviously can be extremely dangerous.
The investigation has been ongoing for weeks, but it wasn’t until the attacker went after a Tesla vehicle last week that the police managed to find the suspect.
ABC7 reports that Jesse Leal Rodriguez, a 34-year-old Anaheim man, was arrested after his vehicle was filmed at the scene of the shooting by Tesla’s integrated dashcam system:
“Rodriguez was taken into custody Tuesday after the driver of a Tesla reported his window was shot out near the intersection of Hamner Avenue and Hidden Valley Parkway in Norco. Because of the high-tech nature of the Tesla, authorities say an on-board camera captured video of the suspect vehicle – a red SUV.”
Tesla’s vehicles all come standard with eight cameras around the cars as part of its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving package suites of driver-assist features.
A few years ago, Tesla decided to leverage the camera to also release an integrated dashcam (TeslaCam) and a surveillance application (Sentry Mode).
Tesla’s Sentry Mode and TeslaCam have helped police make several arrests, especially in cases of thefts and vandalism, over the last few years since the features have been released.
Now it helped gather evidence against Rodriguez in the shooting of the Tesla vehicle.
Rodriguez was charged with three counts of attempted murder and three counts of assault on a person causing great bodily injury over the attack on the Tesla vehicle, which had three occupants.
The extent of injuries of the occupants are unknown.
The police don’t know if Rodriguez was responsible for all the recent car shootings reported in the region over the last few weeks, but the attacks have stopped since he was arrested last week.
They are asking for victims to contact the police in order to build the case.
If convicted of the charges he is already facing, Rodriguez could face up to 57 years to life in state prison.
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