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Tesla has promised many silly things for cars to do in the future. Tesla has also made its current cars so gadget-heavy that you rarely heard about how well they drive or anything actually car-related. Typically they are in the news for something like adding lasers or now coming with a blender or something. It turns out one of Tesla’s wacky features – Tesla Sentry Mode – is actually handy. A woman was recently robbed at gunpoint in a parking lot, and her Tesla Model Y caught the whole thing on tape – or however video is captured and stored these days. 

A Tesla Model Y in blue parked. A model just like this used Tesla's Sentry Mode to capture footage of an armed robbery
The Tesla Model Y | Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Tesla Model Ys have their owners’ backs

This is not the first Tesla Sentry Mode footage we have seen across the news cycle. Some of the videos are hilarious and silly, but like this one, sometimes Teslas record some gnarly stuff too. In this case, maybe the footage can help the authorities find and prosecute the suspect in the video. 

According to Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the robbery happened on September 23 around 11:30 am. The woman was at a Walmart in Spring, Texas, and had just unloaded groceries into her Tesla Model Y when a man wearing a mask pointed a gun at her asking her to hand over her purse.

The robbery victim, Kimberly Dixon, is seen clearly shaken in the video but manages to keep her cool, all things considered. As soon as she hands over the purse, a white Lexus pulls up behind Dixon, and the suspect gets in and makes a getaway. 

I bet she is thankful for Tesla Sentry Mode

According to Inside EV, luckily for Dixon, her phone was in her pants pocket instead of her bag. Given Tesla’s laundry list of circus tricks, she could unlock her Tesla Model Y With her phone. Once inside the car (doors locked, I assume), she called her husband and hit the horn, telling Tesla to save the clip of her robbery. 

The presence of mind to remember that was nothing short of sharp. Thanks to the Sentry Mode footage, Dixon was able to take a screenshot of her attacker and the getaway car. According to MCSO deputies, at least one of the suspects and the same Lexus LS 350 appeared to have been involved in an aggravated robbery of a Texaco on Rayford Road in Spring, TX, the next morning. 

The Montgomery Country Sheriff’s office released the following statement on the second robbery; “The suspects left the Texaco gas station in a white Lexus ES350 bearing Texas license plate JWS9518, which is reported stolen out of Harris County, Texas, and matches the description of the vehicle from the Walmart incident. The suspect who displayed a handgun to the store clerk in Texaco also matches the description from the Walmart incident. The armed suspect and the suspect vehicle can be seen in the video from the Walmart incident.”

One of the suspects is still at large

Red front of a Tesla using a wide angle lens.
Tesla | Getty Images

Three days after the Dixon robbery caught on the Tesla Model Y Sentry Mode, allegedly, the criminal duo hit a gas station in Woodlands, TX. The authorities were alerted in time and pursued the white Lexus into Houston, where they ultimately caught and arrested one suspect. It is unclear which of the two suspects [the gunman or driver] was arrested, but police continue investigating the crimes. 

I guess some of the Tesla party tricks have some value, after all. 


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