A Tesla vehicle's on board integrated camera system - dashcam - helped police arrest a suspect who allegedly terrorized vehicles at US highways and freeways. In the past several weeks, many vehicles in Southern California's Los Angeles, Riverside and Orange were randomly shot by pellets by a moving vehicle, as reported by ABC7.
The attacker mostly shot at the windows of the moving vehicle and police officials were on a look out for him after receiving over 100 complaints. Success to nab the accused took time till he recently went behind a Tesla vehicle. The dashcam used its autopilot cameras that filmed the attacker at the shooting scene and helped police recognize him and his vehicle with the help of the footage. Soon after, 34-year-old Jesse Leal Rodriguez was arrested.
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Rodriguez was charged with three counts of attempted murder and three counts of assault on a person who suffered severe injury, the report quoted the Riverside County District Attorney's Office. There have been no more such incidents after Rodriguez's arrest. He is to be prosecuted on June 1 and if charged in the current case, he could face up to 57 years of imprisonment.
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All Tesla vehicles come standard with eight cameras around the cars as part of the Autopilot and Full Self-Driving package suites of driver-assist features. The cameras were leveraged to integrate a dashcam or TeslaCam onto the vehicle's dashboard as well as a surveillance application - Sentry Mode.
It is not new for a Tesla to have helped the police with its dashcam footage. In the past, there have been several incidents where Tesla’s Sentry Mode and TeslaCam have helped police make several arrests, especially in cases involving thefts and vandalism.