A Tesla car's cameras filmed a crime committed against its owner. The footage became an important piece of evidence in the case and helped to apprehend the perpetrator.
Louis, a hobby photographer, shared with abc7news his terrifying story of how immoral criminals stole his expensive photography equipment at gunpoint. He is still feeling significant distress, and is considering giving up his hobby since it is so attractive to criminals. "If your hobby endangers your family, you start having second thoughts."
In late September, Louis and a friend photographed the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. However, at the end of that beautiful day, he had to endure the worst seconds of his life. "It was over before I could have a rational thought," the victim says.
While near the bridge, Louis noticed two men that were staring at him and his friend, but at that moment, he did not attach much importance to this. Louis and his friend also did not notice that the men were following them. After Louis dropped his friend at home and drove up to the driveway of his house in his Tesla Model Y, the criminals began to act. "I saw two guys approach my car. I thought something is happening, something is wrong," Louis recalled.
Tesla's footage shows a man approaching Louis's car. Home security cameras also filmed the scene. Louis honked as a warning, then heard a blow from behind on the windshield. One of the criminals pulled out a bag containing expensive photographic equipment. At this time, another criminal pointed a gun at Louis sitting in the car. As soon as the intruders got the bag, they ran.
Being in a critical, traumatic situation, Louis was guided not by common sense, but by instincts--he thought "fight or flight," and pressed the acceleration pedal to chase the criminals. The Tesla's cameras show that a car driven by Louis crashed into a criminal's getaway car and caused a lot of damage to the bumper. But the horrible evening did not end there.
One of the criminals took out a gun and began to walk near the Tesla, pointing it at Louis, after which a shot rang out. “The guy has a gun pointing in my face. He walks around my car and that's when I hear the gunshot go off,” he recalls. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
Fremont police say that photographers are often victims of such crimes. However, in this case, a lot of video footage--which was filmed by the Tesla car and CCTV cameras in Louis's house--helped to detain one of the criminals. Daron McClinton was caught, and had been on probation for other crimes against photographers in San Francisco. He will now face punishment for his crime.
𝗘𝗫𝗖𝗟𝗨𝗦𝗜𝗩𝗘: Fremont photographer followed 40+ miles from SF, held at gunpoint & robbed by two men who broke into his car.— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) November 2, 2021
Louis then floored his Tesla & rammed the men’s getaway vehicle & one suspect fired a shot. (𝟭/𝟰)
⠀#SanFrancisco https://t.co/ahs26lsCrr pic.twitter.com/Ecrssycyz6
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.