Cheryl Hurd

Caught on Camera? Tesla Snaps Pic of Berkeley Car Thief

Berkeley police investigating a series of car burglaries got a break in the case because of an unexpected crime fighting tool: an external camera on a Tesla.

Derrick Conerly, a convicted rapist wearing a GPS ankle monitor, had no idea he was on camera. He quickly figured that out when police tracked him down and arrested him. Now, he's behind bars. Berkeley police explained how they caught him.

"On April 3 we had a reported auto burglary, where a suspect broke into a Tesla. That vehicle recorded the suspect’s image," the police said.

The Tesla, which was parked near Ashby and College avenues, had an external camera that recorded an image of Conerly. The Tesla's owner turned the picture over to police, and police were able to identify Conerly as a parolee with a GPS ankle monitor, which document’s his every move. With that, they were able to connect him to the auto burglary.

The camera's primary function is as a safety feature that Tesla owners such as Sandra Richardson rely on.

"We have so much technology today," Richardson said. "That’s definitely a plus to help out with what’s going on today."

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