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Tesla vandal turns herself in after Sentry Mode video goes viral

A vandal who keyed a Tesla Model 3 last week has turned herself in after a Sentry Mode video went viral and made her internet-famous.

Earlier this week, we reported on the case of Alan Tweedie’s Tesla Model 3 being keyed badly by a woman for seemingly no reason while he was at his daughter’s soccer game.

The act of vandalism was caught by Tesla’s Sentry Mode feature, and Tweedie shared the video on Facebook.

It was picked up by the local news in Broomfield, Colorado, and was seen by over 100,000 people.

After we shared the story on Electrek, the video reached over a quarter of a million hits.

The Broomfield Police said that these types of crimes are generally very difficult to investigate, but with Tesla’s Sentry Mode video, they have a shot at finding the vandal and they were requesting tips to identify the woman.

Yesterday, they issued an update to confirm that they received “hundreds of tips” and the woman turned herself in:

We received hundreds of tips on the video of the woman caught keying a Tesla over the weekend. We identified the suspect, 57-year-old Maria Elena Gimeno, earlier this week. Last night she turned herself in and was booked at the Broomfield Detention Center on the charge of Criminal Mischief, a class 6 felony. We appreciate the community’s help solving this case.

They even released her mugshot on Facebook:

This is actually the second time that vandals have turned themselves in after keying a Tesla and being caught on Sentry Mode.

Earlier this year, a Tesla owner posted a video of two men keying his car for no apparent reason, and the men turned themselves in after the video went viral.

Electrek’s Take

Every time one of these cases is publicized, the chances of people messing with Tesla vehicles go down.

People think that keying a car is no big deal, but it is a serious offense in many jurisdictions because the cost of repairs is much higher than many people think.

In this case, she was charged with a class 6 criminal mischief felony in Colorado.

Class 6 is for damages of $1,000 to $5,000 and the police estimated the damages at $2,000 in this case — and that might be low. The scratch was long and deep, as Tweedie noted.

People convicted of class 6 criminal mischief felony in Colorado face up to 1.5 years in prison and fines of up to $5,000. That’s on top of having a record.

Of course, general decency should be enough to convince you not to key a Tesla, or any car, for that matter, but if that’s not enough, the fact that you could easily be caught with Sentry Mode, and that the potential penalties are quite significant, should do it.

In order for Sentry Mode to work on a Tesla, you need a few accessories. We recommend Jeda’s Model 3 USB hub to be able to still use the other plugs and hide your Sentry Mode drive. For the drive, I’m now using a Samsung portable SSD, which you need to format, but it gives you a ton of capacity, and it can be easily hidden in the Jeda hub.

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