The police in Norway have warned Tesla owners that they might be targeted by professional thieves after a few Tesla vehicles disappeared, and the police don’t know how they managed to unlock and start the cars.
Last night, two Tesla Model S cars in the towns of Frogner and Jessheim, near Oslo in Norway, were stolen from their owner’s driveways with the keys still being in the possession of the respective owners.
The police issued a warning to local Tesla owners in the region because they don’t know exactly how the cars were stolen and they believe that professional thieves might be behind the theft.
They wrote on Twitter:
“During the night, we have received a report of theft of 2 Tesla Model S from private courtyards. Car owners have the key cards. Owners of similar cars are advised to be vigilant. There are probably professional thieves in the district.”
A previous report showed that stolen Tesla vehicles in the US have almost all been recovered: 112 out of 115.
But in Europe, things are a little more complicated.
There, some more sophisticated thieves have managed a string of Tesla vehicle thefts through relay attacks over the years, and most vehicles haven’t been recovered. We previously shared a video (pictured above) that showed in real time one of those relay attacks by professional thieves on a Tesla vehicle.
In response to those attacks, Tesla started rolling out extra layers of security with “improved cryptography” key fobs and the optional “PIN to Drive” feature. If an owner activates the “PIN to Drive” function (go to Controls > Safety and Security > PIN to Drive), anyone entering the car will have to know your PIN in order to be able to drive away.
Even if a thief can get around that, the owner can track the car through the Tesla app. They could disable tracking in settings, but Tesla pushed an update last year to require entering your Tesla account password in order to disable tracking, making it a lot tougher to steal a Tesla vehicle.
We haven’t heard much about Tesla vehicle thefts since those updates, but it looks like some thieves are still able to get around those security measures.
For the most part, Tesla vehicles are still considered hard to steal. A report published in 2019 showed that Tesla vehicles are about 90% less likely to be stolen than the average car.