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Tesla owners ‘chase’ stolen Model 3 by tracking it with app, police reprimands them

A couple in New Haven, Connecticut realized last weekend that one of their two Tesla vehicles had been stolen. They tracked it through the Tesla mobile app and reportedly chased it with their kids in the car.

The police reprimanded them, but the owners deny having “chased” the car and claim that the police are getting political.

Lauren Garrett, a mayoral candidate in Hamden, Connecticut, drove her Model 3 to dinner Saturday night and was joined by her husband and two kids in the family’s other Tesla, a Model X.

When they finished dinner and came outside at around 9PM, they found that the Model 3 was missing.

At that point, they started tracking the Model 3 on the Tesla mobile app and they could see that it wasn’t too far away.

Garrett told the New Haven Independent:

“We could see the speed and location on the app. The car was driving around 30, 35. We could see the location,”

Instead of calling the police, she claims to have first called a friend who is a police officer to ask “if the vehicle had been towed.”

The whole family got inside the Model X to go after the stolen the Model 3.

What exactly happened next is different depending on who you talk to, but they managed to catch up with the Model 3 and confronted the thief at an intersection.

By that time, they called police dispatch and were on the phone with them.

Garrett’s husband yelled at the thief who realized he was being followed and sped away — driving into the Model X in the process.

They kept informing the police of the location of the vehicle with the Tesla app and they tracked the car down to another intersection where the police found the Model 3 abandoned by the thief.

After the incident, the police issued a release to discourage what Garret and her husband did:

“Do not attempt to engage in any form with a criminal suspect, especially with small children present.”

The police claimed that the parents tried to block the thief with the Model X.

The mayor also got involved and said that people should call the police right away and not “chase” a stolen vehicle.

Garrett insists that they never chased the car or tried to block it and disputed the police’s version of the incident communicated to the public.

She claims that the police and the mayor are getting political because she has suggested changes to the police department as part of her mayoral campaign:

“It’s political. They’re trying to accuse me of doing something dangerous with my kids in the car. It’s a stunt,”

However, the police supported their version based on the phone call with dispatch and a phone conversation that was captured on one of their officer’s bodycams.

Garrett’s husband is heard on the phone describing the incident and saying that he did try to block the Model 3:

“I gave him too much room to get out,” he tells an officer. Later in the video, at the 3:26 mark, on a cell phone conversation with someone else, Garrett states, “I saw him on Dixwell. I tracked it with the phone. … This kid could have done 150 miles per hour down Dixwell. … So I blocked him in. …  I blocked the kid in. … He banged through the line of cars. … He smashed Lauren’s car.”

It’s also unclear how the Model 3 got stolen in the first place, but the Garretts said it was unlocked and they didn’t have ‘PIN to Drive’ activated.

In an article last week, we explained tips to help prevent your Tesla vehicle from getting stolen.

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