Tesla’s Sentry Mode which keeps a car’s exterior cameras on standby while its owner is away is meant to record break-ins, collisions, and any other potential threats to one’s Model X, S, 3, or Y. But the feature can help thwart thefts of nearby non-EVs as well.
In the Spanish town of Benicassim on Sunday, two people attempted to steal a 964-series Porsche 911 Carrera 2. But unbeknownst to them, the sports car was parked beside a Sentry Mode-enabled Tesla Model 3 that caught everything on tape.
Automotive outlet Motorpasion first reported on the incident, followed by Autoblog , and Business Insider was able to confirm the details of the story via a police report provided by Jose Saez-Merino, a relative of the Porsche’s owner.
In a video of the theft circulated on social media by Saez-Merino, who owns the Model 3 that caught the scene, two people donning partial face masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic can be seen rolling the Porsche out of its parking spot and away into the night.
Saez-Merino shared the video with local authorities and described the 911 at length on social media in an attempt to recover the car.
Less than a day after Saez-Merino shared the video on Twitter, the 911 was found in a suburban area near Valencia, Saez-Merino told Business Insider. A delivery-van driver spotted the blue 911, recognized it from a Facebook post of a friend of the owner’s, and called it in to the police. Saez-Merino suspects that those who stole the car dumped it deliberately to see if the car had a GPS tracker.
Saez-Merino isn’t sure how much of a role the Tesla’s recording played in recovering the Porsche, but told Business Insider that it may help police catch the people who stole the car later down the line. The investigation into suspects is still ongoing, Saez-Merino said.