A Tesla helps catch its own suspected burglar with video of break-in, S.F. cops say

A burglar who smashed a back window on a Tesla Model 3 on Wednesday in San Francisco unwittingly became the star of his own video, leading to an arrest, KNTV reported.

Jed Franklin, a model in Folsom, California, who regularly commutes to the Bay Area had parked along the Embarcadero during a fitting for Levi’s when he received an alert from his Tesla’s security system, KGO reported.

He returned to his Tesla to find a smashed back window — and video taken by the car’s Sentry system showing the break-in, KRON reported.

“It’s unusual,” Franklin said, KGO reported. “So for one, I was upset to see the car getting broken into but on the other side, I was like, oh my gosh I can’t believe this is actually recorded.”

The video, posted by Franklin to Facebook, shows a Honda Civic pull in ahead of the parked Tesla on the Embarcadero.

A man exits, then consults with the Civic’s driver while glancing over his shoulder before creeping to the back of the Tesla, the video shows. He breaks a window and reaches inside.

He dashes back, apparently empty-handed, and jumps in the Civic, which takes off, the video shows.

“I guess he didn’t need a child booster seat or empty grocery bags,” Franklin wrote on Facebook, confirming that nothing was stolen.

He reported the break-in to San Francisco police, who used the video to identify and arrest Jeremiah Jefferson, 21, of San Francisco on Sunday on suspicion of burglary and violating probation, a police department post on Twitter says.

Officers called it the “result of a coordinated effort among multiple San Francisco Police districts, with the victim and the community” in the Twitter post.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.