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Confused Cops Hold Tesla Owner At Gunpoint When They Mistake Putting Kid In Jump Seats For A Kidnapping

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Jump seats in the back of a station wagon used to be pretty common. I grew up facing backwards out of the window of a Ford Country Squire, for example, and these sorts of seating setups were common in all sorts of cars, even diminutive ones like the Saab 95. If just a few more people remembered these wonderful seats, a Tesla owner in Santa Clarita may have been spared a gun to the face.

What happened was a person who owned both a Tesla Model S and at least one human child was seen loading the child into the Tesla’s rear-facing seats, which require opening the rear hatch.


Whoever called in the crime must have thought this broad-daylight act was a strangely bold and mundane-seeming kidnapping, and so they alerted the Santa Clarita Police. The Santa Clarita Valley Signal reports that the police freely admit

“We’re not Tesla experts.”

... and they managed to prove that by finding the gray Tesla, and holding the owner at gunpoint while they familiarized themselves with how

“The new Teslas have a weird back seat and when they put the (child) in the back seat it looked like they were putting them in the trunk.”


Come on, it’s not that weird. And, besides, there’s a huge window back there. It seems that if you really wanted to kidnap someone, it would be much smarter to cram them into the trunk of a sedan, which, of course, is windowless. If other drivers can see the weeping, panicked, screaming child right through the back window, that’s a poor choice for a kidnapper’s car.

Also, remember to cut out the internal trunk release, though, really, that shouldn’t stop a kid from escaping.

The owner was able to show and explain the seats to the police officers, and I imagine they all had a good-natured chuckle, at least once the guns were put away.


So, law enforcement officials, it’s probably a good time to remember that there’s a few cars out there with rear-facing jump seats, accessible from the rear hatch. Tesla has them, some Volvo and Mercedes wagons, and, um, not many more. Remember, this has happened before:

Also, a wagon or hatch with windows is not likely to be a good choice if you want to kidnap a kid in a trunk, for what it’s worth.