Petition to alleviate the quarter panel break-ins

GDN

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#41
I've only heard of two cases (Googled) of stolen Model 3's. Both times the thief had previous access to the car and worked some magic. Neither was a car just off the street with no prior access. Would be interesting if any have been reported and how they happened. The Model S and X had key fob issues that have been resolved if you purchase and upgrade your fob. With the new Pin to drive and Pin to disable online tracking I think we are driving what will turn out to be the least stolen car of current times.
 

kort677

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#42
I feel like I’m missing something here. Has there been a widespread problem with thefts from Model 3’s? Statistically more than other cars?
there is an epidemic of these break ins in CA, mainly centered around the SF Bay area, some people believe that part of the problem is an anti tesla, anti high tech jobs. there are many dysfunctional and jealous people out there who vandalize what they cannot have
 

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#44
There is a verified Bay Area issue with Model 3. The windows are at times in short supply.
Thieves break the small window, flip the seats, then break the larger window to pull out stuff.
There's not really a worry about the car being stolen, just the inconvenience of having your window(s) repaired.
A motion sensor like @TrevP suggests in his video won't keep your window from getting smashed first.
I actually don't think ANY type of alarm will do so.

The only two solutions I know that work (at least most of the time):
  1. Don't park in those neighborhoods (said list of neighborhoods include many nicer ones than you'd think, and it's expanding)
  2. Leave your trunk empty (at least hide stuff in the cellar) and leave the seats flipped down. And hope the thieves peek inside first before they smash (they do typically walk down the rows of cars with a penlight).
I'm tempted to leave a post-it saying "trunk empty, look first" except that might be asking for trouble. What I seriously may do is add an "always on while parked" dome light in the trunk so that it is illuminated when the seats are flipped down and it becomes quite obvious that it's empty.

At first it was just an Oakland problem (with a near 100% break-in rate downtown). Now it's expanded to neighborhoods all around the Bay Area, including places like Saratoga, Los Gatos, and Menlo Park. Yes, in case you were wondering if this was just an isolated "small n" sample—nope, it is rampant here.
 

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#45
At first it was just an Oakland problem (with a near 100% break-in rate downtown). Now it's expanded to neighborhoods all around the Bay Area, including places like Saratoga, Los Gatos, and Menlo Park. Yes, in case you were wondering if this was just an isolated "small n" sample—nope, it is rampant here.
I only looked up Model 3 break-ins specifically; I didn't look up if those break-ins are part of a larger problem in that area. There are two reasons that's important:

1) Because if the area has a much higher break-in rate than normal for all cars, there might not be anything factory issue that can be done, and we might have to wait until comprehensive aftermarket security systems are available. If Tesla removes the window altogether and replaces it with a steel or plastic insert, the thieves will simply switch to breaking the rear side window.

2) If it's specifically Model 3's that are being targeted, and no other car model has a higher break-in rate than normal, it indicates either a design flaw that thieves have discovered and are actively exploiting, or that the primary reason for breaking the window is vandalism, not theft. If it's a design flaw being exploited, it's something Tesla should correct, because there is a very short span of time before a secondary exploit is discovered by thieves, making it the most robbed and stolen model in the Bay Area.
 
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John

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#46
I only looked up Model 3 break-ins specifically; I didn't look up if those break-ins are part of a larger problem in that area. There are two reasons that's important:

1) Because if the area has a much higher break-in rate than normal for all cars, there might not be anything factory issue that can be done, and we might have to wait until comprehensive aftermarket security systems are available. If Tesla removes the window altogether and replaces it with a steel or plastic insert, the thieves will simply switch to breaking the rear side window.

2) If it's specifically Model 3's that are being targeted, and no other car model has a higher break-in rate than normal, it indicates either a design flaw that thieves have discovered and are actively exploiting, or that the primary reason for breaking the window is vandalism, not theft. If it's a design flaw being exploited, it's something Tesla should correct, because there is a very short span of time before a secondary exploit is discovered by thieves, making it the most robbed and stolen model in the Bay Area.
Theft of the car isn't a worry. Nobody's going to start stealing Teslas in any great numbers. Too much trouble, too well protected and tracked. The worry is not a stolen car, it's the expense and inconvenience of fixing the car, and any stuff that got stolen.

It's anyone's guess why Model 3 has been so heavily targeted.

I would suggest it's a combination of:
  • People that own a Tesla must have money (they are still considered expensive, even if the Ford F450 two spots up costs 50% more)
  • The rear window is easy to break, and the seat latch is easy to reach.
Those two factors combine for an attractive quick smash opportunity.

I've lived in the Bay Area for 30 years. When I lived in the tony Marina District of San Francisco—back in the day of "pull out car stereos"—I was 100% guaranteed to come out to a puddle of broken glass and a missing stereo if I failed to pull it out the night before when I parked. Usually I would see the puddle of glass and slap my forehead, realizing what I had done. So car break-ins around here are old news.

What's noteworthy here is that Model 3's are being broken into when nothing is visible. They are routinely cracked to look in the trunk.

I don't think it's vandalism or spite. You come out to a single broken window and a seat flipped down. Not just a damaged car.

It's mostly gang members and drug users looking for quick cash.
 

PandaM3

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#47
Here is a solution to this.

Tesla needs to integrate FSD with security. If the car feels it is potentially in danger then it can move forward or backwards before the thief has a chance to smash the window. If that still doesn’t work the car can drive away, circle the block, and re park itself elsewhere. If the thief still attempts to stop the car or find it again... have the car activate a boring company flame thrower under the car directed at the thief. Just for added flare add in an optional red scanner to the front hood, scanner sounds, the voice of KITT to warn the thief, and the knight rider theme when it’s driving itself away from the thief.

Or have an attack drone docked in the frunk that releases when the car is in danger... for added security a trained trunk monkey can jump out from the trunk to attack the thief.

Maybe a more realistic solution is for cities to take a harsher stand on thievery... maybe public cutting off of a finger when they get caught... eventually after 5 attempts then cut the hand off... they’ll never steal again.
 

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#48
It's anyone's guess why Model 3 has been so heavily targeted.
But is it exclusively targeted, or has it just become more newsworthy than all of the other cars parked in the area?

If it's exclusively targeted, that makes it prudent to consider the logic behind it. If it's thieves after something, there has to be a pretty high chance of a reward, they aren't going to break into 100 cars if only one of them has something worth $20 in it. They would be looking for a much higher reward ratio than 1% - and that's about the ratio we'd be looking at, because in a non-shopping area, relatively few people leave valuables outside in the trunk on a residential street anymore.

That leaves two possibilities: Either vandalism is the primary motive (could be EV haters, or "teaching a lesson" to owners with weak quarter windows) and they just don't want to make a lot of noise while doing it, and peeking in the trunk and maybe catching something is a side perk ...or.... that the Model 3 is being targeted specifically because a high percentage of owners keep the charging cable in the trunk, and pawn shops are paying top dollar for those.
 

garsh

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#49
But is it exclusively targeted, or has it just become more newsworthy than all of the other cars parked in the area?
We're getting our news from a Tesla Model 3-specific website (this one). There is a ton of bias towards those reports here.

A quick search will show you that it's a generic problem in that area.
https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Breaking-Point-475109113.html
https://www.kron4.com/news/bay-area/car-break-ins-an-epidemic-in-the-bay-area/1440154458
https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2...rs-leaving-notes-to-discourage-car-break-ins/
 

John

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#50
But is it exclusively targeted, or has it just become more newsworthy than all of the other cars parked in the area?

If it's exclusively targeted, that makes it prudent to consider the logic behind it. If it's thieves after something, there has to be a pretty high chance of a reward, they aren't going to break into 100 cars if only one of them has something worth $20 in it. They would be looking for a much higher reward ratio than 1% - and that's about the ratio we'd be looking at, because in a non-shopping area, relatively few people leave valuables outside in the trunk on a residential street anymore.

That leaves two possibilities: Either vandalism is the primary motive (could be EV haters, or "teaching a lesson" to owners with weak quarter windows) and they just don't want to make a lot of noise while doing it, and peeking in the trunk and maybe catching something is a side perk ...or.... that the Model 3 is being targeted specifically because a high percentage of owners keep the charging cable in the trunk, and pawn shops are paying top dollar for those.
Lots of cars get broken into around here, not just Model 3s.
But usually your car gets broken into if thieves see something inside that's worth snatching. Leave a backpack or laptop case, your car WILL get broken into. Whether it has an alarm or not.
What's noteworthy here is that they are smashing Model 3s when nothing is visible JUST TO CHECK THE TRUNK.
Because it's so easy to check.
And the owners seem to be well off.
No indication that it's vandalism. In fact, if it was they would start with a bigger window, and probably not stop at one window. And probably not stop at just windows.
 
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#51
I have been toying with the idea of vinyl wrapping the quarter panel window with say carbon fiber (think Audi R8 side blade). Do you think it would be enough to make my car less likely as a target?
 

garsh

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#52
I have been toying with the idea of vinyl wrapping the quarter panel window with say carbon fiber (think Audi R8 side blade). Do you think it would be enough to make my car less likely as a target?
My guess is that they'll just end up breaking your rear door window instead.
 

JasonF

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#53
My guess is that they'll just end up breaking your rear door window instead.
Probably. That's why I suggested tinting all of the rear side windows.

By the way, I forgot to be more specific with that suggestion. The tint my car has is 3M, which also serves as shatter resistance (not PROOF, just resistance - if someone tosses a brick through it's not going to work). I didn't realize at the time that there are other tint brands that do nothing to protect the glass.
 

AmpHog

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#54
Here another approach. Drop-Lock

Although this clearly won't do anything to deter thieves from breaking the rear quarter glass, it might slow down those thieves who like get in and out in under 10 second just enough to keep them advancing into the trunk. It's hard to be sure, of course, without seeing the actual device and how easy or hard it is to remove with simple tools. It's also possible this might just encourage more damage.

I guess the window sticker is intended to prevent the glass breakage by giving the thieves a heads up on the lock. But from the videos I've seen, not too many thieves stop to read directions. :p
 

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#55
I saw a YouTube video yesterday about this, and the guy suggested putting your stuff in the frunk instead - I guess he still hadn't heard about the 9v battery trick.
 

TheTony

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#56
The tint my car has is 3M, which also serves as shatter resistance (not PROOF, just resistance - if someone tosses a brick through it's not going to work
For even greater protection, there's security films from companies like Llumar and 3M. The irony is that the security films perform wonderfully against impacts like a brick or a rock. It's the tools designed to quickly break the window that they really do little to stop, in terms of damage to the window. They do, however, slow down the process after the window is quickly shattered with those tools, which may still protect the items, unless they're very determined.

 

TheTony

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#57
I feel like perhaps those small battery powered window alarms might be an effective deterrent, if installed on the small window, since it seems to be the prime candidate here. It won't save the window, but it may stop the intrusion.