Thanks to modern location-tracking technology, recovering a stolen vehicle is easier than ever. However, that recovery still relies on the compliance of police and/or the automaker to do so, which is an unfortunate truth one man in Texas is finding out the hard way.
On August 18, Albert Molina had his Tesla Model 3 taken to a service center in Houston for a repair. One day later, he received a call from an employee wondering if he had picked his car up, as it was no longer in the lot despite there being a record of its check-in. Figuring it must have been stolen, Molina used Tesla’s app to track the vehicle, to which he found it driving around Houston.
However, as reported by ABC13 Houston, the following Monday, he reached out to Tesla requesting them to remove the vehicle from repair mode, which would allow him to deactivate it from the app. Its resting location, an apartment complex in the nearby city of Bellaire, was then shared with both Tesla and Houston police. Local authorities reportedly told Molina “Do not go to the place. Do not drive up to where the car is right now, so don’t go there.” Assuming they would take action themselves, this would be an understandable thing to say to keep Molina out of a potentially dangerous situation, but they provided no such help.
Just over a week later, ABC13 reached out to the Houston Police Department in search of any updates on the situation, to which they received a reply a day later. Apparently, despite the theft taking place in Houston, the case was under the jurisdiction of the Bellaire police since that is where the car is now.
The news outlet was unsure as to why this information was not provided to Molina. “It’s so frustrating because I know that Tesla knows it, and the cops know it, but what are they doing?” he said. Thanks to the location tracking, the car was able to be viewed in the apartment complex it’s currently sitting in. The Model 3 is in poor shape with a broken driver’s side window, and Molina worries its condition may get worse or the car could disappear altogether if action is not taken soon.