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Teslas are hard to steal, but three were stolen from a dealership on Friday

Published May 2nd, 2020 10:33AM EDT
Tesla Stolen
Image: David Zalubowski/AP/Shutterstock

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  • A group of thieves stole three Tesla vehicles from a Virginia dealership early Friday morning.
  • The thieves led police on a short chase before abandoning the cars and fleeing on foot.
  • Two of the Tesla thieves remain at-large.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

A group of thieves stole three Tesla vehicles from a dealership in Fairfax County, Virginia early on Friday morning. Police were quickly alerted to what was going on and a chase involving all three cars ensued.

According to reports from NBC4 Washington and WTOP News, police tried to stop one car as it attempted to enter an interstate highway. The car quickly crashed as it attempted to avoid police, prompting the thief to flee on foot.

While the thief got away, passengers — or perhaps accomplices is more appropriate — who happened to be in the car weren’t so lucky as they were arrested at the scene.

NBC4 reports:

Officers tried to pull over the Tesla and a pursuit began, police say. Eventually, one of the drivers crashed on Leesburg Pike near the Beltway and ran away, police said.

The drivers of two other Teslas continued southbound on the highway and eventually left the cars near Route 236 and tried to outrun officers, police say.

A third suspect got away. Fairfax County Police say there were an unknown number of passengers in two of the cars.

One of the Tesla thieves was ultimately apprehended and, trying to think quickly on his feet, lied about his age and was trying to play it off as if he was a juvenile.

At this point, it remains unclear how the Tesla vehicles were stolen but we have to imagine Tesla is investigating the matter.

Generally speaking, Tesla vehicles are rarely stolen relative to other automotive brands. According to a report from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) from August of 2019, Tesla vehicles are 90% less likely to be stolen than other cars. And while this could certainly have something to do with some of Tesla’s built-in safety mechanisms, there are other factors at play as well.

The report reads in part:

Two of the vehicles on the least-stolen list are the Tesla Model S and Model X. Their low theft rate may be related to the fact that, as electric vehicles, they are usually parked in garages or close to a house to be near a power supply.

Incidentally, electric vehicles in general tend to be stolen less frequently than other vehicles.

As a final point, you might recall a video from 2018 which showed thieves stealing a Model S with a key fob hack. It’s worth noting, though, that Tesla has a few layers of security — such as requiring a four-digit pin — that the Model S owner in question didn’t employ at the time of the theft.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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