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Are Teslas really this easy to steal?

‘A Tesla showroom in South Salt Lake, Utah, was the nexus of four different arrests on Nov. 24, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, in which at least two of the suspects claimed to be part of the Tesla “family.” (The car company is named after inventor Nikola Tesla, not a family owner.) In the first arrest, a Tesla pulled up behind a Utah Highway Patrol car at a stoplight, and the officer noticed that Driver No. 1 was acting “suspicious.” When the officer pulled him over, the 24-year-old driver said a man he hardly knew gave him the car and keys to three other Teslas. When the officer and driver returned to the showroom, it had been burglarized, but Driver No. 1 explained that the burglary had occurred before he got to the dealership, so he felt he was allowed to take the vehicle and keys. Area officers were alerted, and 31-year-old Driver No. 2 led troopers on a short chase, until his Tesla’s battery died. Later, Driver No. 3, 19, was pulled over in West Valley, and finally Driver No. 4, a 27-year-old woman, was stopped at a liquor store and told police a man named Tesla had given her the car. “We are still trying to sort this out,” said South Salt Lake Police spokesman Gary Keller. “We actually have two people claiming their name is Tesla and a family member died and left them these cars. It’s one of those cases where you just have to scratch your head and say, ‘Really?’” [Salt Lake Tribune, 11/24/2017]’

Are they really this easy to steal?

Pretty much any car is easy to steal if you break into the dealership and find the keys…


In the '90s the Los Angeles Weekly ran a series of articles, Outlaw LA, by 2 former career criminals, Johnny Angel & Eddie Little (who went back to jail, so he wasn’t really former). One told the story of a gang that had computer-controlled radio transmitters that tried millions of electronic combinations/second. A member would stand next to a valuable car, wait until it hit, hot-wire it and drive it off to a ship that took it to Croatia.

And the only reason that can happen is because the manufacturers don’t want to spend $2 per vehicle to prevent that hack from ever happening. There are many simple ways to deal with this.

Yes. I assume they do now. This was about the mid-90s.

What’s there to sort out? Four people driving cars without the permission of the owner, seems like 4 stolen cars to me. If my last name is Ford, can I just go any drive any Ford product in the world? What’s puzzling here is the stupid quote from the police department.