Thief Steals Tesla Model S With Just a Smartphone

Sean Szymkowski
by Sean Szymkowski

For all the connectivity modern cars exude, there are downsides. Case in point: an alleged thief reportedly stole a Tesla Model S with just his smartphone.

Local Minnesota Fox news affiliate KMSP reported last Wednesday the man stole the Model S from a Tesla rental company called Trevls. The company’s owner, John Marino, said he’d encountered the 21-year-old man a handful of times.

“We suspected it was him because he used to brag a lot about how much he knew about the car and its security, and this was somebody who had the wherewithal to make this happen,” Marino said.

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According to local police, the alleged thief used the Tesla smartphone app to manipulate the car and simply unlock the vehicle himself. He also disabled the GPS before leaving the scene. However, even without the GPS, Tesla was able to locate the car every time the thief stopped at a Supercharger station and juiced up the electric car’s battery. He was arrested three days after taking the car in Waco, Texas.

One expert doesn’t believe the thief actually “hacked” into the Model S, though. Instead, computer forensics specialist Mark Lanterman said it’s more likely the thief convinced Tesla to add the specific Model S’ VIN number to his Tesla account. From there, if this was the route he took, he had full access to the car via the Tesla app to unlock and control other functions of the car.

[Source: KMSP]

A version of this story originally appeared on Hybrid Cars.

Sean Szymkowski
Sean Szymkowski

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