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Alleged Thieves in Tesla SUV Arrested After Stopping To Charge 10 Miles From Crime Scene

If you're going to commit a crime, maybe make sure your Tesla's battery is fully charged.
Gwinnett County Police/Twitter

Police seem to have a love-hate relationship with electric cars. On one hand, many departments love the cost savings an EV can provide. On the other, they aren’t too keen on calling off a chase due to running low on charge. But in rare cases, like the February arrest of a pair of alleged thieves, EVs can prove to be a surprisingly efficient tool in subduing criminals.

Over the weekend, Gwinnett County Police posted news of an ironic arrest on Twitter. In perhaps what can only be seen as a cruel twist of fate (or instant karma), two people suspected of burgling a Sam’s Club store in Buford, Georiga on Feb. 19 were arrested after they stopped to charge their Tesla Model X at a charging station just 15 minutes from the store that they were accused of ripping off.

When police responded to the burglary, witnesses were only able to give a description of the vehicle and its manufacturer. Now, the likelihood of the police actually finding the thieves who burglarized the store would seemingly be slim-to-none with such a broad description. Still, Business Insider reports that responding authorities had already broadcasted the vehicle description to other officers in the immediate area.

Police discovered a Model X matching the description at a charging station about 10 miles away. It’s not clear if the Model X was owned by one of the thieves or if it was stolen, however, it is apparent that the Tesla didn’t have enough charge to get wherever it was going. Despite the SUV having as much as 348 miles of range, the bandits still had to make a pitstop at a charging station to top off the electric SUV.

Police also found a number of goods that were believed to be stolen from the Sam’s Club in the Model X, including gaming computers, electric toothbrushes, and more. In all, it was reported that the thieves stole around $8,000 worth of goods from the store. Officers also found two large plastic bags filled with marijuana, two handguns, and an AK-47 pistol.

The Drive reached out to the Gwinnett County Police but was not provided with an arrest or police report to confirm any reported details.

Oddly enough, this hasn’t been the first time that a Tesla running out of charge has thwarted a thief. In 2019, an Arizona woman was arrested after a stolen Tesla Model S ran out of charge while being pursued by officers on a highway. And on a separate occasion, another Tesla driver from Florida was scolded by police after they plugged into an electrical outlet at a random person’s house overnight and stole an estimated $2.50 in electricity after their battery ran out of charge.

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