The incriminating footage was used to convict her.
Tesla's handy Sentry Mode security system has been instrumental in capturing vandals damaging parked cars and preventing break-ins. While the Tesla Model 3, Model X, Model S, or Model Y is left unattended, 360-degree cameras continuously monitor the surroundings. If a threat is detected, the camera automatically starts recording, catching the vandal in the act. In the UK, a woman, 57-year-old Anna Valente, was recently caught on camera deliberately keying a Tesla Model 3.
As reported by the Daily Mail, it's believed the woman purposely parked her Nissan Juke over the white line of a parking space in Poole, UK, to prevent people parking next to her because her dog was in the car on the front seat.
When she returned, she was furious to find a Tesla Model 3 parked closely next to her Juke. To vent her frustration, she used her key to scratch the passenger-side door of the Model 3, causing more than $1,330 worth of damage. Little did she know that the Tesla's Sentry Mode was filming the entire incident and was ultimately used to convict her.
The owner of the Model 3 didn't realize what had happened until he returned home and his wife noticed a four-inch scratch indented on the door. When watching the footage captured by the security system, it clearly showed the woman casually keying their Model 3 before calmly driving away in their Juke as if nothing had happened.
"I felt a bit like a modern-day Sherlock Holmes when I found the incriminating footage," the owner of the Model 3 told the Daily Mail. "I was stunned and amazed when I saw it. Miss Valente seemed very confident in the way that she did it." Crucially, the footage showed the Juke's license plate, which enabled police to identify the vandal and charge her with criminal damage.
She was conditionally discharged for six months and ordered to pay £1,078.83 ($1,445) compensation, a £22 ($29.49) surcharge, and £85 ($113.93) court costs. It's believed this is the first time footage from Tesla's Sentry Mode has been used as evidence for a prosecution in the UK.