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Sentry Mode caught a hit and run

fika

New Member
Mar 21, 2019
3
8
Denver
First post! It would have to be bad news, though.

When I park at work, I'm normally 5-6 spaces away from anyone. That's worked out well until now. This time, I made a tactical error by not parking immediately by the curb island, leaving enough space for someone on both sides of me. That was my undoing.

In the video you can see the meticulously maintained truck pull into the space next to me, back up, hit my car, then bolt. 3 of the 4 cameras got his license plate clearly. The police were extremely helpful and were fascinated by the video. They told me this lot is infamous for hit-and-runs - for 90% they have no evidence or witnesses whatsoever to go on.

The bad news? It's an invalid license plate number with a fictitious name and address. Of course. So the car is off to the body shop and I'm paying my $1k deductible. I didn't even have a single door ding yet!

I'll report on the repair when I know more. So far, dealing with the body shop (Tesla certified) has been a great experience. I first attempted to get it done through the Tesla Service Center, but they are currently only doing very small dings and scratches.

I'm a believer in Sentry Mode, natch, but it only goes so far and there will always be dishonorable people like this to watch out for.

 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,282
10,148
SF Bay Area
Wow, what bad luck and what a scummy driver. He had so much space too. Probably no insurance so put fake plates on it. From the looks of the truck’s bumper I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s done this before. Loved the meticulously maintained comment :p. Really need to get people like this off the road. Wish someone would have followed him and gotten more info for you. If he would do this to a car, don’t think he would stop if he injured a person. Too bad the B pillar camera couldn’t supply a good image of the guy.

Glad to hear the police were helpful to the extent they could be though. And that your body shop experience is going smoothly. How bad was the damage, side back door or more?
 
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Puddles

Member
Jun 2, 2017
730
930
Fresno, CA
And what are the chances he works in that area and will just park somewhere else... Should take a spin through the parking lot to see if you can find that truck. It would be interesting to know how many of the hit and runs in that lot are from that truck.

Agree. I can't see someone like that being too far from home. I can't see someone like that *making it* too far from home.
 

fika

New Member
Mar 21, 2019
3
8
Denver
@MP3Mike Believe me, I keep an eye out!

@SMAlset He hooked the wheel well, so the damage is to the inside liner, rear quarter panel and the bumper. A bunch of retaining pins popped and an ultrasonic sensor broke. Though it's not too bad visually, the rear got tweaked and pulled out. He also hit my tire, so they're doing a full alignment. He didn't hit my gorgeous @Tsportline rims thank goodness - missed by 1/2". So far the estimate is up to nearly $5k.
IMG_0176.jpeg
 

DrtyJrze

Member
Nov 10, 2019
479
763
USA
Sorry to see that OP.

Definitely keep an eye out. You’ll see that POS again. Just make sure to call the cops immediately and don’t let your emotions get the best of you when it happens. It’s not totally about the damage to the car at this point. It’s the principle.
 
  • Helpful
Reactions: Carolina Karl
Considering how many license plate readers the cops have I'm surprised they can't simply be on the look out for this license plate number, and have a cop pull them over.

Agreed. But who knows, maybe that person changed his plates after this happened, making it useless to search.

Some people just like to watch the world burn, drivers like that are just one of them, they should be punished heavily.
 
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MXLRplus

Active Member
Mar 11, 2020
1,601
2,807
Eastvale, CA
After looking at the POS truck, couldn't they just follow the trail of parts that were falling off it to his house?
Odds are you will see the truck again if it's your regular haunt. It's probably a local truck since I doubt it could make it very far.
 
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RayK

Active Member
Apr 5, 2016
2,296
2,303
San Jose, CA
The bad news? It's an invalid license plate number with a fictitious name and address.
Using the almost infinite resources of the internet, a lookup for that particular license plate yields this:

1999 Toyota Tacoma
Vehicle Identification Number: 4TANL42N4XZ472040

Not sure what the police mean by it's an invalid number. A couple of different online searches yields similar information. That it's a 1999 Toyota Tacoma and the VIN, when freely reported, is the same. These companies will provide additional information (owner's name and address, for example) for a fee.
 

Need

Active Member
Nov 22, 2017
3,096
2,412
Rancho Cucamonga
If you really want to find the guy, you could hire a PI. PI has access to commercial license plate database. They collect GPS locations of all license plates scanned by automatic readers like the ones on new dashcams. Probably not worth spending the money though.
 

ma2k5

Member
May 3, 2020
12
10
London
Using the almost infinite resources of the internet, a lookup for that particular license plate yields this:

1999 Toyota Tacoma
Vehicle Identification Number: 4TANL42N4XZ472040

Not sure what the police mean by it's an invalid number. A couple of different online searches yields similar information. That it's a 1999 Toyota Tacoma and the VIN, when freely reported, is the same. These companies will provide additional information (owner's name and address, for example) for a fee.

By invalid, I assume it means that use a plate for another car of same make/model to trick law enforcement. There may be many ways the police can tell that it is faked.
 

EVNation

Member
Dec 20, 2019
204
115
SoCal
Using the almost infinite resources of the internet, a lookup for that particular license plate yields this:

1999 Toyota Tacoma
Vehicle Identification Number: 4TANL42N4XZ472040

Not sure what the police mean by it's an invalid number. A couple of different online searches yields similar information. That it's a 1999 Toyota Tacoma and the VIN, when freely reported, is the same. These companies will provide additional information (owner's name and address, for example) for a fee.
@fika Can you give this VIN & license plate to your insurance company? Doubtful the driver has insurance, but if they do, I'm sure your insurance can find their insurance through the DMV, etc.
 
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fika

New Member
Mar 21, 2019
3
8
Denver
To answer some of the questions - the insurance has the police report, which does include the VIN and plate. While this is the first time this exact situation has happened to me, my expectations on the effort the insurance company would expend to recoup $1k for me is pretty low.

Regarding the invalid license plate, based on what I heard @ma2k5 is correct. The plate may be a proper Colorado-issue plate, but the associated driver and demographic information on the tags/registration is fake.
 

RayK

Active Member
Apr 5, 2016
2,296
2,303
San Jose, CA
Regarding the invalid license plate, based on what I heard @ma2k5 is correct. The plate may be a proper Colorado-issue plate, but the associated driver and demographic information on the tags/registration is fake.
Which leads to the question: If it's KNOWN by law enforcement to be an invalid registration, why not log that plate as stolen?

Next time it's under the eye of the police, they shouldn't let the driver go until he/she can prove that plate and vehicle is legally theirs.
 
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iamnid

Member
Dec 4, 2019
827
848
Riverside, CA
To answer some of the questions - the insurance has the police report, which does include the VIN and plate. While this is the first time this exact situation has happened to me, my expectations on the effort the insurance company would expend to recoup $1k for me is pretty low.

They would be working to recoup the $5,000+ they spend to fix your car, not the $1,000 for you. I'd be surprised if they don't make efforts to track him down.
 

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