Crazy Stories of Tesla Sentry Mode in Action

Dajah Beck, a resident of Portland, Oregon, has had her car stolen so many times that she decided to take matters into her own hands. Even though she had always gotten her car back, the thefts were frustrating, and her car was often left where the police would impound it. Knowing that her car would be stolen again, she decided to plead with the potential thieves by leaving a note in the car. "Please just leave my old car in a neighborhood or something," she wrote. "There's a note in this envelope; just stick it on the dash or under the wiper. A passerby will see it eventually and call me and then I can come get my car. No cops or questions asked; I'm not even mad at you." The note worked, and the next time her car was stolen, it was parked just five blocks away from her home.

Dajah is not the only American concerned about car theft. The Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics reports that in 2017 alone, one motor vehicle was stolen, or an attempt to steal one was made, every 4.8 seconds in the United States. 

Companies like Tesla are resorting to sophisticated measures to ensure their customers don't end up in Dajah's situation. One new development is the Tesla Sentry Mode. Since Sentry Mode was made widely available, Tesla owners have shared some crazy stories. We identified some of the craziest to share with you. 

A Delinquent Judge Bumps into Car and Drives Away

What does a judge do when he bumps his Cadillac Escalade into a Tesla in Philadelphia? He would leave his contact and insurance details as required by law. According to a video captured by the Tesla Sentry Mode (beginning at minute 6:30), and uploaded on YouTube, this wasn't the case. After noticing that he had bumped into another car, the offending driver, identified as Judge Willie Singletary, gets out of his car. He then looks at the dent on the car he bumped into, tries to rub it a few times, and then drives away.

It's not clear whether the judge has been asked to account for his actions yet. What makes matters worse is that this former Philadelphia Traffic Court judge was also running for a seat on the Philadelphia City Council. 

According to the owner of the Model 3, it was easy to identifySingletary because of his public profile. The owner reports that the judge initially denied that he was responsible. He only made his insurance details available after he was shown the video captured by Sentry Mode (Source). 

Further digging shows that the Tesla Model 3 hit and run incident is not the first timeSingletary has had a run-in with the law. Reports indicate that he was sentenced to 20 months in prison when he was convicted of lying to the FBI regarding a ticket-fixing scheme. Singletary appealed the sentence, but he was resentenced by a federal judge (Source).     

Turning a Tesla into a Photo Shoot Stage for a Dog

When she decided that she needed a few photos of her dog, an unnamed woman had no idea that she would find a perfect stage: a brand new Tesla Model 3. Not knowing that the sentry mode was active, she indulged herself and got more than a photo.  

While using someone else's car as a photo-shoot stage without their permission may not precisely be a crime, it is rude. It is not clear whether the owner of the car pressed any charges, but what we know is that the video, posted on Reddit, has been viewed 1.1 million times. We certainly think that’s enough punishment for disrespecting other people’s property.  

From A Honda to a Tesla to Prison 

He parks his Honda behind a Tesla Model 3 with one aim in mind: to break into the car in front of him. The criminal, eventually identified as 21-year-old Jeremiah Jefferson, hides on the side of the Model 3 he was attempting to break into not knowing that the vehicle’s Tesla Sentry Mode was in action. When he triggers the Sentry Mode, Jefferson rushes back to his car and drives away, but not before the technology captured his number plate. 

Reports indicate that Jefferson was later charged with the crime of second-degree burglary. Added to this, he will also have to answer for probation violation.  

Exposing Vandals

In another instance, a seemingly innocent mother appears to be getting her child into her car. However, she is caught on camera deliberately scratching a Tesla Model 3 packed beside her car. Fortunately, Tesla Sentry Mode was active and capturing everything (Source). 

According to a friend of the scratched Tesla Model 3's owner, the video was used to identify the woman who vandalized the car. A case was opened with the police, and the woman was arrested (Source). 

Happy No One Saw the Bumping Incident 

A woman notices an empty parking slot and immediately tries to park her car in it. However, she realizes she didn't park straight. So she reverses and tries to park again. In the process, she hits a Tesla. She looks around the parking lot to see whether anyone saw what happened. Content that no one saw her, she drives away (Source).

What the woman doesn’t know is that the Tesla Sentra Mode captured all the action. The owner of the damaged Tesla uploaded the video on Reddit. According to the owner of the car, the issue is now in the hands of the police (Source).

Tesla Driver Greeted by Eggs

Another Tesla Model 3 owner, Darin Lee, was sitting in his car, supercharging it when eggs suddenly started raining on his car. When he looked outside to see what was happening, he noticed an SUV with four teens pulling up right in front of him. When the teens saw him, they drove off. 

Luckily the front camera caught everything. So Darin had sufficient evidence to report the matter to the police. The police have since been trying to identify the teens. In the meantime, Darin has to deal with the cost of the damage (Source). 


What is clear from all these crazy stories we have captured above is that to some people, owning a Tesla is reason enough for you to be mistreated. However, it's also clear that the Tesla Sentry Mode is ensuring that all sorts of criminals are held to account. In some cases, it has also been useful in providing evidence in instances where the Tesla itself is not involved. You can see a few of these instances here