A video of a woman captured apparently keying a $110,000 Tesla electric car at a car park in Sydney’s west has gone viral with half a million views since it was posted.
The video was captured on Sunday by the brand new Tesla Model 3 owned by Daniel Pearce, who both reported the incident to police and Westfield Penrith shopping centre management as well as posted it on social media channel Twitter.
Caught using the Tesla electric car’s in-built “Sentry Mode” that uses up to eight hidden cameras to record incidents from simple bumps and scratches to acts of theft and vandalism, the video shows a woman dressed in pajama pants approaching the car before apparently dragging a key along its side.
— Daniel Pearce (@DanPapi_) February 23, 2020
It’s the second such incident that has come to our attention in the last week; on Friday, a man with a skateboard was captured in a Sentry Mode video recording apparently smashing the window of a Tesla parked in a car park in Albury.
Neither of the alleged vandals were apparently aware that the car they were next to was recording them – even though both vehicles would have automatically flashed their lights to alert the alleged offenders that their presence had been detected.
Both videos have stunned viewers, with the “skater guy” incident now viewed more than 150,000 times. The “pajama pants” incident has gone even further, with half a million views and almost 10,000 shares at the time of writing.
Neither of the owners in either incident believe their vehicle’s were targetted because they are Tesla electric cars.
Pearce – who had shared the “skater guy” incident on days before – said on Twitter that he was not parked in a disabled spot, nor from his video did his Tesla appear to be in a designated EV charging spot.
“We have never seen this woman before, random act as far as we are concerned,” he said.
Pearce said on Twitter that he was encouraged by police to share the video to help in the identification of the woman.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.