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Car broken into, no smashing, as if it had been unlocked. What happened?

FilmTraveler

Member
Mar 15, 2019
12
35
Hampton Roads, VA
Hello all. I am heartbroken that my first post to this great community as a new Model 3 owner is to talk about a breakin. But last night, I came out to a parking lot after a movie and my passenger door was slightly ajar and my valuables (fortunately not much) stolen. She was in Sentry Mode and no alerts were registered on the car UI (and therefore no sentry mode footage). I had phone data off during the movie so I got no updates or alarms there either. When I turned data back on, the app showed the door was open and I was horrified... and sure enough, I'd been robbed.

No windows were smashed. I left the car, and had my phone on me (was using it as the phone key). I don't specifically remember hearing the horn chirp, because I was hurrying off to catch the movie, but I can't imagine she wouldn't have locked herself after I walked away, as usual. So what happened? What are the attacks people know of? Are there other threads people can point me to? The keywords I've searched for on the forum have all showed results about the rear quarter window issue.
  1. Did someone dash in before she could lock and open her while I was rushing away? That sounds far-fetched.
  2. Are there cases where it just doesn't lock for some unusual combination of factors?
  3. Is there some kind of known exploit people are using on Model 3's? The cops who responded seemed to think so.
I would be glad to hear from any of you about anything you've seen or heard about this. (There was no dash/sentry video from the time period, though I'm slowly checking deleted files recovered from the flash drive just in case.)
 

SoManyM3s

Member
Apr 21, 2019
312
236
28262
either you left the door cracker or the thief got in the car before the car auto locked. this happens in many cars that auto lock these days
 

ElectricLee

Member
Mar 2, 2019
477
563
San Jose
It may have been unlocked. Make sure you hear the LOCKED sound when you walk-away from the car. I sometimes, double check my phone app to see if the car is locked and Sentry mode is turned on.
 

Twiglett

Single pedal driver
Oct 3, 2014
3,038
3,127
Austin
If it wasn't locked then sentry mode wasn't engaged.
which would explain the no video on the usb.
Unless the "perp" pulled the usb, removed the files and put it back in ;)
Most likely, the car wasn't locked.
I've had this happen if my wife opens it using the keycard. Walkaway lock doesn't happen in that case.
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,188
10,056
SF Bay Area
Doesn't sound like your situation but do remember if you use your card key to open your car (like maybe the phone doesn't connect so you use that instead to gain entry) the Walk-Away Lock will not work. So when you exit with your phone key you do have to listen for the car to beep to indicate it's locked. Sometimes I know this can take longer than other times. I personally suspect someone entered your car before it had chance to auto-lock. Reminder for everyone. I remember seeing a story about a car owner (don't think a Tesla owner) who was leaving her car with packages in her hand and someone ran up after she got out of the car and opened her trunk and stole things from it. Like right in front of her.

As to the police officer's comment, I know the key fobs on the Model S/X were hackable and Tesla came out with replacement ones people could buy for better security on them due to the passive entry mode. I don't think I've heard of any issues with Model 3's locking however.

I guess in someway you can at least be thankful you didn't have broken glass from the theft. I know little consolation but it is a pain to replace (been there).

I guess this kind of theft can be prevented by using your card key every time, if you don't have line of sight on the car until it locks with your phone. That or use an optional Tesla key fob on the car instead of your phone and click as soon as you get out of it. No passive entry available on it so no worry about that S/X hack happening.
 
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Runnergirl

Member
Sep 26, 2018
322
605
NC, USA
Awww super sorry that happened. But on the BRIGHT side!... you don't have to repair a broken window!! Did you check if the theater has cameras or any other store in that lot maybe has footage?
 
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groovidad

Living the Dream!
Oct 19, 2018
615
496
Ewa Beach, HI
I concur with calidreamz 808, I have loaded things in the back seat, closed the door and when I got in to drive, the door ajar warning was on. It has happened to me a couple times. I do always listen for the horn to beep as I walk away to assure locking. Look on the bright side, they didn't break a window and you lost things that can likely be replaced(?) No wait for a SC appointment or parts. Sorry for your situation.
 
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FilmTraveler

Member
Mar 15, 2019
12
35
Hampton Roads, VA
You guys were all absolutely right. I ran a few re-creations of the traumatic event and I'm 100% certain that either:
  1. I didn't TOTALLY get the door shut when I closed it, or
  2. I used the keycard and the phone key wasn't properly connected (my phone bluetooth is finicky). This is something I would forget about and not register in my tiny brain.
Thank you all for chiming in about this, and I hope that my idiocy might serve as a reminder to everyone to be careful. It gives a lot of credence to the old quip, "it may be that the purpose of your life is to serve as a warning to others."
 

groovidad

Living the Dream!
Oct 19, 2018
615
496
Ewa Beach, HI
You guys were all absolutely right. I ran a few re-creations of the traumatic event and I'm 100% certain that either:
  1. I didn't TOTALLY get the door shut when I closed it, or
  2. I used the keycard and the phone key wasn't properly connected (my phone bluetooth is finicky). This is something I would forget about and not register in my tiny brain.
Thank you all for chiming in about this, and I hope that my idiocy might serve as a reminder to everyone to be careful. It gives a lot of credence to the old quip, "it may be that the purpose of your life is to serve as a warning to others."

Brother, no "idiocy". Could happen to anyone and has. Vigilance!
 

futbolista

Member
Apr 30, 2019
49
27
San Jose
Sorry to hear about this. Fortunately as you say, you didn’t lose much. I have made it a habit when I walk away from my car to check if the side mirrors are folded (enabled the auto fold setting) and/or at least once check the app to confirm that my car is really locked.
 

jruben4

Member
Apr 30, 2019
18
0
Brookfield, WI
One nice feature on the stats app is it will lock the doors for you if it sees you're away from the car and it's not locked. The car is supposed to do this but I'd say about 3% of the time it doesn't and I get notified the app did it. It's kind of a backup.
 

GolanB

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Sep 22, 2018
620
733
NYC
I've had a few occasions when the car mysteriously doesn't auto-lock when I walk away. Its happened in a recent release (2019.16.3.2) as well as a few versions earlier. I pretty much exclusively use my phone as the key (only bringing the keycard on trips or when hitting a parking garage). For the most part, the phone key is reliable, but you should always be in the habit of listening for the car to lock, or waiting for the mirrors to retract (if you have this set). In both of those cases, I was far from the vehicle, and it had to be secured by hitting the lock icon in the App. My son happened to notice the first time, and I saw the second time.
 

aspec818

Member
Nov 15, 2018
657
322
Bay Area
One nice feature on the stats app is it will lock the doors for you if it sees you're away from the car and it's not locked. The car is supposed to do this but I'd say about 3% of the time it doesn't and I get notified the app did it. It's kind of a backup.
have you tested to see if the Stats app will auto lock if the doors aren't fully shut?

I have my auto lock horn turned off. I may need to turn it back on just to be safe.
 
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MrMassTransit

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Mar 7, 2019
299
515
Washington, DC
Very sorry to hear that happened. I find that the driver's door on my Model 3 requires a decent amount of force to close. When I first got the car, I walked away from it several times and came back to find the door slightly ajar and the car had not locked. Now I'm very careful to double check it before I walk away and make sure I hear the horn beep.
 

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