I know we have said some pretty salty things about Tesla and Elon Musk in the past, but that doesn’t mean we don’t acknowledge that their cars have some remarkable design and engineering, and some very novel, and, in this case, especially useful features. Like Sentry Mode. While normally this system is designed to detect ne’er-do-wells pestering the Tesla itself with its built-in cameras, this time it helped to foil the theft of an air-cooled Porsche 911.
This happened in Spain, where our siblings-in-writing-about-cars over at Motorpasion were nice enough to tell me all about it.
What happened was two masked men (the masks look to be more of the Coronavirus-protection type than the let’s-steal-cars type) tried to steal the Porsche 964 Carrera 2 by pushing it out of its parking spot, a smart move since an air-cooled engine, unburdened by sound-deadening water jackets around the cylinders, is pretty loud.
What they didn’t count on was another car in the parking lot ratting them out, which is what the Tesla Model 3 did. The Model 3's sentry mode seems to have been triggered by the motion around the car, which triggered the Tesla’s cameras to save the recorded video files, which can be seen in the Tesla owner’s tweet there.
The car was found in a town called L’Eliana, where a resident recognized the Porsche from the Tesla-recorded videos seen on Twitter.
Police (or, as the Google-translated article calls them, the Civil Guard) have the video and are attempting to identify the would-be thieves, who maybe were just pushing the car for exercise reasons?
Regardless of whether the thieves are caught or not, this is one of the better uses of sentry cameras on a car that we’ve seen, where the cameras can actually aid other cars in the area, especially classic cars born in eras long before integrated car-sentry cameras were even imagined.