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Tesla dashcam captures motorcyclist intentionally snapping off mirror, police find him

A motorcyclist was caught snapping the mirror off a Model 3 by Tesla’s integrated dashcam, and the video made it possible for the police to find him and file a charge.

Last week, Model 3 owner Brandon McGowen says that he was driving on the highway in Lincoln, California, when he saw a motorcyclist behaving strangely:

This happened on my way home from work today… crazy motorcyclist slowed way down in front of me, then moved over and broke off my mirror.

The whole incident was caught on TeslaCam, an integrated dashcam system using Tesla’s Autopilot camera.

Here’s the video:

The video clearly shows the motorcyclist smacking and breaking the mirror, but it doesn’t show the plate number.

But Tesla’s dashcam system leveraged the existing extensive camera suite of the Autopilot system.

The front-facing camera shows the moment before and after the vandalism act, and it clearly shows the motorcyclist’s license plate:

McGowen gave the videos to the police and shared them on social media.

They quickly became popular, and the police also found them useful. McGowen said yesterday:

I just received a call from the officer that the TeslaCam/dashcam videos were successfully able to ID the cyclist, and since it’s considered vandalism, it’s now moving onto the courts. Thank you all for your support!

It’s the latest example of Tesla’s new security features helping catch vandals attacking Tesla vehicles.

Tesla’s Sentry Mode, which is built on the TeslaCam used in this case, recently help catch a vandal who keyed a Model 3 for seemingly no reason.

The vandal turned herself in after the Sentry Mode video of her keying the car went viral.

In order for TeslaCam or Sentry Mode to work, 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.

Electrek’s Take

Maybe we don’t have the whole story here, but based on the front-facing camera video, it doesn’t look like the Tesla driver did anything to anger the motorcyclist — not that it would warrant attacking the car like that, anyway.

I can’t pretend to know what goes through that guy’s head to think it’s OK to do that, but if it’s because he hates Tesla or EVs, it’s ridiculous.

Not only Sentry Mode is catching them, but also now TeslaCam.

Hopefully, those incidents will happen less often as more people understand that they are being watched at all times when it comes to Tesla vehicles.

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