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Tesla Model S Owner In Vancouver Used Mobile App To Track Car Thief — “I Could Tell The 911 Operator Was Excited”

Car owners everywhere who have had the unfortunate experience of being the victim of auto theft will probably like this one…. A Tesla owner in Vancouver, British Columbia, recently had her Model S stolen after accidentally leaving an extra key fob in the car while at a concert. Fortunately for her, she was able to remotely track the stolen car (with the help of her husband) via the Tesla app.

Thanks to this ability to remotely track the Model S, the Pinkowskis were able to provide 911 operators the exact location as the car was moving, thereby allowing Richmond RCMP to surround and apprehend the car thief relatively easily.

Tesla Model S Blue

Interestingly, this is one of the first instances of a Tesla Model S being stolen in Canada (the first?). To date, there have actually only been a few Model Ss stolen in the US, so that lack of susceptibility to theft isn’t just the case in Canada.

The Province provides more:

Katya Pinkowski and a friend left a concert near Granville Street on Thursday night and headed to an underground parking lot to hop into Pinkowski’s beloved dark blue Tesla Model S 85D, bought last year from the Vancouver store. 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 kilometers 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. As he approached the futuristic car and touched its self-presenting door handles, it must have beckoned him inside, Katya Pinkowski said. “The car opens and is going, ‘Come on, sit down, let’s have a ride,’” she said with a chuckle. “He couldn’t say no.”

Perhaps not. But that doesn’t mean that the 24 year old in question (Howard Geddes Skelding) won’t end up paying for the crime. He didn’t damage the Model S too much, fortunately — leaving only some scuffed rims, and some takeout in the passenger seat, apparently.

Cary Pinkowski noted: “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.”

(h/t to “f-stop” on the Tesla Motors Club forum for this.)

Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.


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