Motorist caught keying £50,000 Tesla by the car’s cameras

Image: Pixabay

Motorist caught keying £50,000 Tesla by the car’s cameras. The footage led to the first prosecution of this type in the UK.

Anna Valente was caught out by the sensory cameras on a £50,000 Tesla. The cameras are intended to help the car drive itself if this is permitted in the future.

Valente had been shopping at a retail park in Dorset. She parked her Nissan Juke on the white lines of a parking spot and was not happy when she came back to find the Tesla parked close to her car. In June this year, she used her keys to cause around 1000 pounds worth of damage to the Tesla.

The owner of the Tesla commented: “When my wife arrived home and parked the car in the drive I saw the scratch on the passenger door and asked what had she done to the car?

“She had no idea. I took the hard drive out of the Tesla and plugged it into a computer and downloaded all the video files.

“I felt a bit like a modern day Sherlock Holmes when I found the incriminating footage.

“I was stunned and amazed when I saw it. Miss Valente seemed very confident in the way that she did it.

“My wife was upset that somebody could do that to us but I was glad that I had identified the woman to the extent that I could catch them.

“Neither my wife or I know Miss Valente and have never spoken to her so I don’t know why she did it.

“All I can think of is that she had parked her car right on the white line and she had a pet dog in the passenger seat so perhaps she didn’t anyone parking next to her.”

The owner went on to add: “There are four cameras on a Tesla that have a dual purpose. They are sensory cameras for self-driving the vehicle should that be allowed and the other is for security.

“I think this is the first time in the UK where images from a Tesla has been used in a criminal prosecution.

“Police told us usually when people scratch cars it is almost impossible to get anything done. Car park cameras are normally positioned too far away. The system on the Tesla is great.

“I knew the car had something like this but I didn’t know how good it was.”

The owner explained the events which led up to his car being keyed. He said: “My wife arrived at the car park and reverse parked alongside a black Nissan Juke. The footage shows how the Nissan was parked right on the white line, I suspect to try and deter anybody from parking alongside.

“Approximately two minutes after the Tesla had been parked, the forward facing camera through the windscreen captures Miss Valente leaving the Homesense store and walking across the car park toward the rear of her vehicle parked alongside us.

“She walks between the two vehicles then places her right hand upon her own passenger door and at the same her key appears from behind her body in her left hand and make contact with the Tesla’s paintwork.

“She runs the key down the paintwork of the door. It is absolutely clear what has happened. She then returns to the driver’s side of her vehicle and drives away.

“The camera on the wing mirror showed her putting stuff in the passenger side of her car before she keyed the car.”

According to a spokesperson for the Dorset Police the footage from the Tesla allowed the perpetrator to be brought before the court. The spokesperson commented: “The vehicle involved had on-board CCTV, which provided clear and exceptional quality images capturing the defendant causing damage.

“The defendant was identified from the footage and subsequently was brought before the court to face the consequences for her actions.”

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Written by

Alex Glenn

Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]