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Epidemic of Model 3 small window break-ins

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Eno Deb

Active Member
Aug 17, 2018
2,632
3,382
SF Bay Area
In all seriousness though this really sucks. Is this primarily a California issue? I haven't seen anything like this happening around NJ.
Yes. This has reached epidemic proportions in the Bay Area due to new laws which basically took away any real punishment for these types of crime, and even prevent the police from pursuing the crooks if they see them. As a result there are now organized gangs specializing in smash and grab theft. See e.g.:

Palo Alto area a hot spot for auto burglars
 

Tommy Bahama

Member
Aug 2, 2017
38
33
Oklahoma City, OK USA
Really sucks it has become such an epidemic there. As someone else said it will continue to be an issue until the powers at be or the citizens decide to make stopping it a priority.

In the interim, I wonder if tint film would provide better protection, holding the glass together to prevent an easy hole being punched through. Or even a product like this: Security | 3M Building Window Solutions | 3M United States

Not sure it would work on car windows, but maybe a tint installer could get a roll and give it a try. The window would still shatter, but it could give better protection to whatever is inside. And I guess you would have to weigh the unlikely event you might need to break a window to get out in an emergency if you put it all around.
 
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mspurplepurl

First car and first EV.
Oct 22, 2018
24
2
Los Angeles
Agreed, an electric lock would be the best solution (would also make the valet mode much more useful). Alternatively the mechanical release handles could be moved inside the trunk which many other automakers are doing now. Frankly, I'm surprised that Tesla didn't learn from the many incidents involving the Model S in the last few years.

In the meantime, the only solution is not to leave anything in the trunk and fold down a back seat so the crooks can see it without breaking the glass.
If they see something in the trunk, they will then smash the big rear window and lean in to grab the item. You can find videos on Youtube.
Car alarms are mostly ignored anyway because everyone assumes they are false positives.

Smashing the rear window too?! I'm seriously having chest pains.

That's a really smart idea for valet mode. That or a key lock seem like reasonable improvements. Maybe there's an after market item that can be purchased? Until then, good idea of just leaving a seat down to show there's nothing in the trunk.

My other questions went unanswered. I'm going to assume, yes, though re: the alarm going off if the door is opened while off, the frunk not being able to open, and the culprit not being able to drive away. I'm pretty sure I've read those things to be true. The only item I'm fuzzy on is whether the alarm would go off if the door is opened through the broken window.
 

pandam3

Member
Apr 23, 2018
193
160
Orange County
That seems a bit overly destructive. I think a Trunk Monkey is a better option:


In all seriousness though this really sucks. Is this primarily a California issue? I haven't seen anything like this happening around NJ.
Yes it’s a California issue.

The “Walking Meth” around here get pretty creative.

The nice thing is that they also volunteer to go around neighborhoods to make sure your car is locked. You can donate to their cause by leaving donations in your car and the car unlocked.

Unfortunately the laws protect the “Walking Meth” more than it protects everyone else. Just recently I saw a Ring video of “The Walking Meth” steal a package from a front door and ride off in a bike. However the owner was home and promptly chased after the person to retrieve the package. Luckily there is no video of the retrieval because the laws see it as 1) “The Walking Meth” would get a slap on the wrist for package theft and 2) the victim would be charged with felony assault... which has far greater consequences especially if you have a profession with a professional license.

Whenever I go to visit San Francisco... I just leave my car with the hotel Valet and take an Uber everywhere.
 

Trevor B

Active Member
Apr 2, 2016
1,173
777
USA
Friend of mine parked his Model 3 in a covered lot in SF. Comes back to find the rear triangle window smashed. Went to Tesla to get repaired and told this is increasingly common.

Technique:
1) Smash the small window
2) reach in and unlatch the back seat and fold down
3) use flashlight to see if anything interesting stored in trunk. If so, break in. If not, walk away.

The tragedy is that the car alarm DOES NOT go off. So this is an easy, quiet smash and grab. @musk & co - I hope you can modify the alarm to detect this? Maybe the internal camera can detect motion?

Given how often this happens and how short they are on parts, it's been 2+ weeks and he's still driving around with a smashed window. Pass this along to see if we can get action from Tesla. View attachment 348389

already posted several times, search is your friend
 
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mspurplepurl

First car and first EV.
Oct 22, 2018
24
2
Los Angeles
Yes it’s a California issue.

The “Walking Meth” around here get pretty creative.

The nice thing is that they also volunteer to go around neighborhoods to make sure your car is locked. You can donate to their cause by leaving donations in your car and the car unlocked.

First, dying @ "Walking Meth"

Second, I can't tell if you're being sarcastic, but would it really be better to leave change in the car and the doors unlocked?? Part of me thinks if you live somewhere that's prone to these incidents it may not be a bad idea. other ideas include being a good neighbor and speaking to and knowing your local junkie just as well as you know your model citizen. (Of course this looks over commuting organized criminals.)

I don't have a car yet, but when I've used rentals, I've had questionable guys say they'd keep an eye on it for a buck or two. Because I am who I am...I usually give them a don't fu*k with me look, try to remember everything about their face and what they're wearing, and walk away. That tactic will have to get slightly modified when it's my property.
 

Need

Active Member
Nov 22, 2017
3,037
2,345
Rancho Cucamonga
The only item I'm fuzzy on is whether the alarm would go off if the door is opened through the broken window.

It is easily tested right? Just roll down the window and lock the car. Then cover your ears and reach your hand in and open the door from inside. I think every car made in the last 20 years would sound the alarm in this case.

The best defense in this case would really be just roll over .. I mean roll the down the window and open the latch. So they can see you have nothing there and move on to easier targets.

I would love to have Tesla enable a parking mode that let you record on all cameras while you park for a few hours. By itself, it won't do much, but once all the professional crooks know that any Tesla could record all surroundings passively, they would try to avoid targeting Tesla or even any cars parking close to one. There are easier targets around... go for them.
 

crackers8199

Active Member
May 31, 2015
1,296
668
lake elsinore, ca
there have been tons of threads on this. i posted a thread a few weeks ago asking some of our resident 3d printing experts to take a crack at a locking mechanism for the seat handle...nobody replied.
 
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Shygar

Member
Aug 7, 2017
926
531
Pleasant Hill, CA
I keep the child lock on anyways so the back doors wouldn't be able to be opened. I haven't heard of anyone in the bay area having this happen so I'd be surprised if this is an epidemic. But the alarm should go off when a window is smashed right? If it doesn't, I'd say that's a bug.
 
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Need

Active Member
Nov 22, 2017
3,037
2,345
Rancho Cucamonga
there have been tons of threads on this. i posted a thread a few weeks ago asking some of our resident 3d printing experts to take a crack at a locking mechanism for the seat handle...nobody replied.

But that's not going to help though. They will break the window and then found out they can't open the latch, but then your window is already broken. In order for this to actually work, Tesla will have to retro fit every car to enable locking and all the thieves found out that they can't do this anymore, they would stop... maybe.
 
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Gavyne

Member
Jul 27, 2018
667
1,858
SoCal
FYI this smash & grab is happening to all cars in certain areas, not just Model 3. This won't stop until people stand up to it. Alarm, camera, etc.. are useless in these situations as people are seen doing this in broad daylight with crowds of people watching and doing nothing.
 
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crackers8199

Active Member
May 31, 2015
1,296
668
lake elsinore, ca
But that's not going to help though. They will break the window and then found out they can't open the latch, but then your window is already broken. In order for this to actually work, Tesla will have to retro fit every car to enable locking and all the thieves found out that they can't do this anymore, they would stop... maybe.

disagree, for this reason: they're already looking inside the car first, given that people are solving this by just leaving the seat down. they're not breaking the window if the seat is already down and they can see that there's nothing in the trunk.

if word gets out that there's a locking mechanism available and they can easily look inside the car and see that the handle is locked, they'll move onto the next car. they're not looking to draw attention to themselves for no potential gain.
 

adaptabl

Banned
Mar 13, 2018
776
702
Canada
It is easily tested right? Just roll down the window and lock the car. Then cover your ears and reach your hand in and open the door from inside. I think every car made in the last 20 years would sound the alarm in this case.

The best defense in this case would really be just roll over .. I mean roll the down the window and open the latch. So they can see you have nothing there and move on to easier targets.

I would love to have Tesla enable a parking mode that let you record on all cameras while you park for a few hours. By itself, it won't do much, but once all the professional crooks know that any Tesla could record all surroundings passively, they would try to avoid targeting Tesla or even any cars parking close to one. There are easier targets around... go for them.

They would not avoid Tesla's, they would just smile and give you the finger on video as they smash your window or worse..
 

Rockster

Active Member
Oct 22, 2013
3,014
4,699
McKinney, TX
It seems that the CA insurance companies are the hardest hit by this. I'm really surprised that they haven't lobbied against the laws that have so substantially reduced the penalties.
 
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pavankp

Member
Apr 24, 2018
86
84
San Francisco, CA
there have been tons of threads on this. i posted a thread a few weeks ago asking some of our resident 3d printing experts to take a crack at a locking mechanism for the seat handle...nobody replied.
This is a good idea, I am going to try to come up with something for this. And I will put a note in that quarter window that seat can't be pulled down.
 
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crackers8199

Active Member
May 31, 2015
1,296
668
lake elsinore, ca
This is a good idea, I am going to try to come up with something for this. And I will put a note in that quarter window that seat can't be pulled down.

let me know if you need any help. i've been looking at it trying to come up with ideas, but i don't have any 3d printing experience so it's not something i can do myself.
 
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