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Model 3 Break-In South Bay Area

lookmanohands

Member
Sep 27, 2019
5
6
San Jose, CA
I got my car windows tinted last Friday and was driving home from the shop and decided to stop by the mall (Valley Fair mall) to do some errands. I was in and out in less than 90 minutes and walked out to my rear quarter window smashed:( My backseat was folded down. The alarm never went off. I looked at my Sentry footage and saw the kid folded down the backseat and looked into my trunk with a flashlight but saw nothing valuable so they left and smashed the rear window of the car next to me as well. Scumbags. I did a report with the police and mall security & trying to make out of the plate number from my Sentry clips but it’s a bit blurry. It’s an expensive and a pain in the ass lesson but now I know to be more careful. It’s just crazy because I parked in a well-lit and high m-traffic area.

What is the best route to have this repaired? Third party glass shop and Tesla is charging pretty similar pricing. Tesla quoted me $530 to fix this glass piece.

What is a good prevention for this to happen again? Leaving the backseat down? My car windows just got tinted with 50%. Would this even be helpful? I looked into 3rd party seller, RPM is selling this coating film to put over the rear quarter window to make it smash-proof? But wouldn’t that mean they will just smash the big window?

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjdrdVX4xKVWmhrvyzGUyNQnECds2u8GY
[URL]https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjdrdVX4xKVWmhrvyzGUyNQnECds2u8GY
[/URL]
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjdrdVX4xKVWmhrvyzGUyNQnECds2u8GY
 

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  • Informative
Reactions: bcpm3p
Aug 7, 2020
586
1,235
USA
US Model 3 doesn’t have intrusion sensor. Also not worth the cops' time to pursue these minor crimes. Probably not a good idea to make your windows completely shatter proof. If you’re ever in an accident rescuers may have to shatter your windows to rescue you.
 

calidreamz808

Member
May 20, 2019
242
212
Huntington Beach, CA
I got my car windows tinted last Friday and was driving home from the shop and decided to stop by the mall (Valley Fair mall) to do some errands. I was in and out in less than 90 minutes and walked out to my rear quarter window smashed:( My backseat was folded down. The alarm never went off. I looked at my Sentry footage and saw the kid folded down the backseat and looked into my trunk with a flashlight but saw nothing valuable so they left and smashed the rear window of the car next to me as well. Scumbags. I did a report with the police and mall security & trying to make out of the plate number from my Sentry clips but it’s a bit blurry. It’s an expensive and a pain in the ass lesson but now I know to be more careful. It’s just crazy because I parked in a well-lit and high m-traffic area.

What is the best route to have this repaired? Third party glass shop and Tesla is charging pretty similar pricing. Tesla quoted me $530 to fix this glass piece.

What is a good prevention for this to happen again? Leaving the backseat down? My car windows just got tinted with 50%. Would this even be helpful? I looked into 3rd party seller, RPM is selling this coating film to put over the rear quarter window to make it smash-proof? But wouldn’t that mean they will just smash the big window?

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjdrdVX4xKVWmhrvyzGUyNQnECds2u8GY
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjdrdVX4xKVWmhrvyzGUyNQnECds2u8GY
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjdrdVX4xKVWmhrvyzGUyNQnECds2u8GY

Forgive me because i have forgotten, but there are aftermarket sites that sell a little red brick looking thing that goes into the backseat release so they know it's LOCKED and breaking the window won't help them into the trunk.
 

RayK

Active Member
Apr 5, 2016
1,905
1,861
San Jose, CA
Sorry to hear about this. I haven't been to Valley Fair in some time but it can happen anywhere. Conventional wisdom says it's best to leave your back seats down, showing that you have nothing of value inside when out in public parking lots. This includes places where you first have to buy your ticket in order to park (e.g., multi-level parking garage at San Pedro Square during Sharks games or anywhere you park in San Francisco). I know it's a hassle but that's the world we live in.

I too have thought about putting security film (not tinted) on the rear quarter windows. I've also thought about installing seat locks. I even dreamed about putting (hidden) razor blades on the seat latches so I could get some DNA evidence but that might be going overboard. So far, none of those things have happened as I've not (yet) been violated in this manner. I DO have both rear window assemblies hanging out in my garage in the event it does happen. Those cost $414 for the pair ($190 each plus tax in Jan 2019) so ~$500 to replace one window sounds a little bit high but not extraordinarily so. The additional $300 above the material cost is labor. From looking at the service manual it does take some effort to remove the remnants of the old window and install the new.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Big Earl

ElectricLee

Member
Mar 2, 2019
475
502
San Jose
Do you think the 2021 Model 3 have laminated rear corner windows? Also, if they do... can we get a retro fit that to a 2017-2020 models with it?
 

calidreamz808

Member
May 20, 2019
242
212
Huntington Beach, CA
I got my car windows tinted last Friday and was driving home from the shop and decided to stop by the mall (Valley Fair mall) to do some errands. I was in and out in less than 90 minutes and walked out to my rear quarter window smashed:( My backseat was folded down. The alarm never went off. I looked at my Sentry footage and saw the kid folded down the backseat and looked into my trunk with a flashlight but saw nothing valuable so they left and smashed the rear window of the car next to me as well. Scumbags. I did a report with the police and mall security & trying to make out of the plate number from my Sentry clips but it’s a bit blurry. It’s an expensive and a pain in the ass lesson but now I know to be more careful. It’s just crazy because I parked in a well-lit and high m-traffic area.

What is the best route to have this repaired? Third party glass shop and Tesla is charging pretty similar pricing. Tesla quoted me $530 to fix this glass piece.

What is a good prevention for this to happen again? Leaving the backseat down? My car windows just got tinted with 50%. Would this even be helpful? I looked into 3rd party seller, RPM is selling this coating film to put over the rear quarter window to make it smash-proof? But wouldn’t that mean they will just smash the big window?

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjdrdVX4xKVWmhrvyzGUyNQnECds2u8GY
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjdrdVX4xKVWmhrvyzGUyNQnECds2u8GY
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjdrdVX4xKVWmhrvyzGUyNQnECds2u8GY

I found the link

Drop-Lock
 

RayK

Active Member
Apr 5, 2016
1,905
1,861
San Jose, CA
So here's a list of things that might prevent future break-ins:
  • Keep your back seats down whenever out parking in public; could also apply to people like me who park their car(s) in the driveway in front of the garage. This means keeping the trunk empty of anything; hard to do if what you need to carry exceeds the volume of the sub-trunk and frunk, like if you're out Christmas shopping at multiple stores. This is the simplest and it's free to implement.
  • Installing rear seat locks. One type is visible (if the thief looks for it first before smashing the window), the red brick thing mentioned above, and can be removed by the owner (or thief, if they know the "trick"); the other locks from inside the trunk with a simple pull mechanism but its presence cannot be detected by looking inside the car.
  • Putting "Seats are locked" stickers, or similar message, on the rear quarter windows, whether you actually lock them or not
  • Installing security film that makes it harder to break through the glass but it still allows the glass to be shattered so you'll still have to replace it.
  • Replacing the quarter window with another type of material, one that can't be broken. I've seen photos of aluminum plates being used and when I was researching this problem a couple of years ago, saw a sheet of lexan being fabricated at a local TAPS Plastic store for a Model 3 customer. Don't know how that one turned out as there's several issues that makes it very hard (IMO) to either replace the window or cover it with the plastic.
All of these things will not prevent the vandal from breaking the passenger window(s), or even the quarter window, if they don't care or look or read first. A few weeks ago we had a group of guys drive through the neighborhood looking into cars at about 3am. They looked into, and tried opening the door, on my daughter's Murano on the street and both my wife's truck and my 3 in the driveway. I did not have anything of value in the car and I also did not have the rear seats down. Lights on the outside garage did not deter them. Nor apparently, did they see or care about my three security cameras pointing at the driveway. One guy was across the street and seems to completely ignore my neighbor's Model S but looked inside his Honda.
 

iwannam3

Member
Aug 8, 2016
910
1,289
Washington
I too have thought about putting security film (not tinted) on the rear quarter windows. I've also thought about installing seat locks. I even dreamed about putting (hidden) razor blades on the seat latches so I could get some DNA evidence but that might be going overboard.

A guy did that to his campaign sign in front of his house and the city employee was inured removing it. It was on city property and not legally placed.
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,059
9,783
SF Bay Area
I personally think tinting your windows makes it harder for them to see if what’s inside might be of value, so for the few seconds to break the window more worth their risk to break in and find something be it left on the seats, on the rear floor or in the trunk. If you capture them on video you know it takes only seconds to smash that window and flashlight a view inside.

We had our MS broken into in the same fashion back in 2017, and with the Model 3 having the same window/rear seat set up despite having a trunk, when I got my Model 3 in 2018 I always kept my rear seat backs down. With so much national news coverage of Tesla’s Sentry Mode and people being caught for various acts against the cars, it seemed like vandalism of Teslas had stopped and other cars became the preferred targets. I have had my seats up for a few months and even wondered if targeting Teslas was a moot point for the most part these days. So very sorry to read about OP’s encounter. I will say to get our MS repaired back in 2017 it ran well over $1K so the quoted Tesla SvC charge here seemed way more reasonable. There is still more labor involved than just popping in a new glass panel what with the trim and sealing but Tesla did make the repair easier than on the MS back then (can’t speak to MSs produced now as they are constantly improving parts where they can).

I suspect with many out of work due to covid we could be seeing a rise in this type of vandalism (although it speaks to a certain type of individual I think who would do this anyway), that and with the holidays approaching people buying gifts and filling up their trunks leading to a more tempting target.

Once your window is broken, the damage is done and whether they flip the seat and see anything or not you already have a costly repair.
 

MHATB FLA

Member
Jun 24, 2020
8
0
Florida
I saw the sentry mode video from your rear and left cameras. I wonder if you would have parked rear first into the parking spot, would the front camera have gotten a better view of the getaway car's license plate? Does anyone know if this front camera (under the rear view mirror) is better quality than the rear?
 

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