Sentry Mode footage leads to arrest of suspect who keyed Tesla Model Y twice

A Tesla owner in North Carolina is grateful for Sentry Mode after the cameras on his Model Y captured a vandal keying his car not once, but twice. The video helped identify the suspect, who turned out to be the victim’s former neighbour.

The incident occurred last month in a shopping center parking lot in Pineville, North Carolina. In an interview with WBTV the owner Rahul said he noticed the damage to the left side of his Model Y when he returned to hic car, and immediately checked the Sentry Mode footage to see if one of the four cameras used in the built-in security feature captured what had happened.

To his surprise he saw his former neighbour pull up next to his car and proceed to key the driver’s side of the Model Y. Not content with the damage he had just caused the suspect circled around and came back to gouge his key into the orange wrap and paint of the Model Y for a second time.

After realizing he knew who had keyed his car, Rahul provided the footage and the information to the Mecklenburg County Police who were able to use the evidence to arrest Hanish Garg.

Officer Randy Down said it is rare to actually charge someone for keying a car because it is very difficult to obtain enough evidence to prove they did it. Down said however that the footage from the Tesla’s cameras were the reason they were able to arrest and charge the suspect in this case.

Sentry Mode has proven extremely useful to owners in catching criminals since the feature was added in a free over-the-air (OTA) software update in 2019. The feature was recently tweaked to allow owners to decide whether to use camera-based detection to trigger a recording, or to save battery life and only record when an intrusion is detected (door opening, glass breaking etc.), or when the vehicle is tilted (e.g., from an impact).

Fortunately Rahul had camera-based detection enabled, otherwise he never would have known who had keyed his car.

You can watch the Sentry Mode footage in the video below.

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