A while ago, a renter used a fake id and burner cell phone to rent a Tesla from us. They paid using a prepaid credit card for a long rental. But they had other plans.
They took the car to a crater / container packaging & shipping company to have it packed in a container to ship to the Middle East.
Our rental cars are set up in a way where no one can disable the remote monitoring. So we were able to track the car to the shipping company.
Following the paperwork, we were able to uncover the destination of where our Tesla was heading and the container & ship it was on.
We got suspicious when the rented car was at that location for a few days without movement.
The Tesla app locator helped us get a warrant to search the place
We involved the local police and went to seize the car but we had just missed them and the car was on a ship to the Middle East. The ship literally had just sailed.
Our management and lawyers then involved RCMP and INTERPOL (not an easy task) and the container was seized in Italy and shipped back to us.
Of course this was after lots of lawyer work and paperwork across the ocean, but our Tesla came back in one piece.
We are not sure why car thieves think they can steal a GPS enabled Tesla and ship it to another country where Tesla can disable supercharging and other features of the car making it obsolete.
Toronto and Montreal have also had record high car thefts and what is referred to as friendly fraud (renting a car under false pretence) in the past few years due to the close access to the Montreal port for shipping as well as minimal repercussions of the crime. There is also a political tug of war between the border authorities and local authorities over who needs to manage this, as well as a lack of funding & time to scan each container but that is a whole other story.
Source: Border officers frustrated at inaction over stolen cars being exported through Montreal
(The stolen Tesla was put with another ICE car in a container designated to carry scrap metal). In the end, we would like to thank Tesla Montreal, Tesla California, our lawyers in Canada & Italy, SPVM, RCMP, Italian police & INTERPOL for helping us get our Tesla back.
I guess the record remains great at 113 out of 116 stolen Teslas retrieved! Source: Stolen Tesla vehicles in the US have almost all been recovered: 112 out of 115
Today we run background checks on every customer & have a second GPS tracking system on our fleet of all Tesla models; S, X and 3