Skip to main content
Publish date:

Man used smartphone app to break into and steal Tesla from the Mall of America

But he was caught, easily, three days later.

The wonders of modern technology enabled a 21-year-old man to steal a Tesla from the Mall of America, but also helped police track him down just days later.

The theft happened overnight between Aug. 26-27, with the electric car taken from Trevls, a Tesla rental business adjacent to the Bloomington megamall, Bloomington PD told Bring Me The News.

The suspect, who FOX 9 reports is a regular customer of the business, was able to manipulate the Tesla app to unlock and start a red Tesla Model 3.

The 21-year-old from Minneapolis then drove off the rental car's parking lot and left the state.

The thing about a Tesla, though, is that it is jam-packed with the latest in hi-tech gadgetry, making it pretty much one of the worst vehicles to steal.

Every time it's recharged, Tesla can tell you where the car is, but what's more is this rental vehicle was also installed with additional tracking technology that made locating it a breeze.

He made it as far as I-35 in Waco, Texas a few days later when he was pulled over by a state trooper after locating the stolen car, with the suspect booked into jail on a felony charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Follow Bring Me The News on YouTube.

Speaking to FOX 9, computer specialist Mark Lanterman doesn't think the suspect "hacked" the app per se, but rather convinced Tesla to add the VIN number of that vehicle and add it to his Tesla account, allowing him to control the car from his phone.

The case has now been referred to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office for possible charges.

Next Up

Kirill Kaprizov

Wild win battle of NHL's hottest teams, extend winning streak to six

Kirill Kaprizov delivered a shootout winner to take down the Maple Leafs.

Eric Kendricks

Vikings downgrade Eric Kendricks to out against Lions

The Vikings have also activated Michael Pierce from injured reserve.

u.s. attorney

Minnesotan sentenced after assaulting man with baseball bat

Marshall Wayne Boshey was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.

Target store

Target's gift card discount is back, but for this weekend only

The fine print: for Target Circle members only (but membership is free).

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Minneapolis teen arrested in St. Cloud after fleeing police in stolen vehicle

The vehicle was stolen in a car-jacking in Minneapolis Thursday.

snow, blowing snow

Winter storm warnings issued with heavy snow set to slam MN

Parts of northern Minnesota could see more than a foot of snow, but there won't be much in the Twin Cities.

D'Angelo Russell

With KAT out, Timberwolves can't upset Nets

D'Angelo Russell stepped up but couldn't overcome Brooklyn's firepower.

Everson Griffen Vikings dot com

Everson Griffen confirms he has bipolar disorder

"I’ve been running from it a long time. I’m not ashamed of it anymore.”

Angela Renee Jones, St. Cloud murder suspect

St. Cloud suspect now charged in two local murder cases

Both murders happened within a day of each other in June.


'Don't build Mall of America waterpark,' says nearby competitor

The CEO of nearby Great Wolf Lodge says it's too risky of an endeavor.

Pixabay - fitting room curtain

Man charged with hiding camera in Mall of America fitting room sentenced

Authorities say he was caught in the act at the mall's Forever 21.

Mall of America

Mall of America is laying off more than 200 workers

It represents around a fifth of its workforce.

An ice rink is coming to the Mall of America for the holidays

The rink will be free to the public, with proceeds from skate rentals donated.

Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 9.49.33 AM

Gallery: New images released of giant Mall of America water park

The City of Bloomington approved the development plan on Monday.

Hidden camera moa

Police investigating hidden cameras placed in MOA dressing rooms

They've set up a special hotline to hear from anybody who may have fallen victim.