ONLY ON ABC7 NEWS.COM: Suspected burglar caught after California man's Tesla records its own break-in with Sentry Mode in San Francisco

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Tuesday, April 9, 2019
EXCLUSIVE: Calif. man's Tesla records its own break-in
A suspected auto burglar was caught on camera and then caught thanks to one of Tesla's latest software updates.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- An auto burglar was caught on camera and then caught thanks to one of Tesla's latest software updates.

The car's owner was able to capture stunningly clear video of his vehicle being broken into in San Francisco.

RELATED: San Francisco residents pleading with thieves to spare their vehicles

Jed Franklin is a model who "super commutes" more than 100 miles from Folsom to San Francisco for fittings and photo shoots. While parked along the Embarcadero for a Levi's fitting on April 3, Jed got an alert on his Tesla app that Sentry Mode had been triggered.

Sentry Mode was offered to Tesla customers as a software upgrade in February. It's available on Model 3 cars and model S and X Teslas built after August of 2017. The vehicle uses its cameras to switch on and record whenever there's a threat such as a person leaning on the car.

Jed was able to capture in full view a suspect pulling up in a white sedan in front of his Model 3, get out of the vehicle, sneak around to the passenger side and use a small tool to break into a backseat window.

"It's unusual. So for one, I was upset to see the car getting broken into but on the other side, I was like, oh my gosh I can't believe this is actually recorded," says Jed.

While nothing was taken from the vehicle Jed was able to provide the information to San Francisco Police who confirmed to ABC7 news Monday that they were able to arrest a suspect, 21-year old Jeremiah Jefferson on second-degree burglary charges and a probation violation.

RELATED: NFL player stops suspected car burglar by using Owl Car Cam, Bay Area-based dash cam technology

San Francisco Police Public Information Officer Adam Lobsinger says the high-quality video helped in arresting Jefferson.

"It's rare but we're seeing more and more of these surveillance cameras all over the place now and we're happy to see that because it's a really effective crime-fighting tool," says Lobsinger.

Jed is getting his window fixed next week and in the meantime considers the arrest a small victory, not only for himself but for the city as a whole.

"I hope this video will make a difference...hopefully we can put a dent into all of this crime!"

A recent report finds car break-ins down 21-percent in San Francisco in February except for Golden Gate Park.

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