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Tesla Charging Cables Thefts Spike in Europe, Cold Weather Apparently to Blame

One of the great things about EVs is that you can theoretically (and sometimes even practically) never visit a charging station as you're free to do all the "refueling" at home.
Tesla Model 3 charge port and cable 1 photo
All you would need is access to a power outlet and, of course, the charging cable provided by the vehicle's manufacturer. Well, maybe "provided" isn't the best word since you're paying for it, but you get what we mean. Finally, while it's not mandatory - how many times have you stepped over electric cables strewn across the sidewalk in the city? - it would be ideal to have a garage as well.

It seems like that last point is becoming less and less optional as reports of stolen charging cables have intensified lately, with as many as 21 cases reported in Amsterdam alone over the course of two weeks, according to Dutch publication AD. The police say the problem isn't specific to Amsterdam and happens across the entire country.

The report says all EV brands are affected, but none more so than Tesla and the Model 3 in particular. As it turns out, apart from the model's ubiquity, there's one other possible reason for why thieves have a preference for it.

During the Model 3's first winter, many owners complained about the charging cable getting stuck in the charge port. The company decided the cause for that was the locking pin freezing in position, so the cure Tesla found was to have it move up and down. Obviously, the charging cable can be removed by anyone with minimum fuss whenever the pin is down.

According to the same Dutch media outlet, even without this backdoor, removing a cable during charging is an extremely simple task as an experienced lockpicker only requires a few seconds. Those who lack the skill, however, can also succeed if they visit the gym regularly.

Thieves won't steal something if they can't sell it afterward and, sure enough, there's a bustling market for use charging cables. That means one simple solution would be to avoid buying these things on the second-hand market; with the demand gone, no one would bother stealing them just for fun. However, after you've just woken up to find your EV half-charged and your cable gone, the thought of not paying full price for a replacement must sound very appealing.

Ironically enough, the Model 3 should be the last car thieves should be looking at, considering it comes equipped with the Sentry system that activates all cameras when they detect movement. Still, considering most thefts happen at night and everyone wears a mask these days, they might just as well wave at the camera since finding their identity should prove impossible.

The Dutch police offer another solution that's way more rudimentary but also much more useful. They say owners should lay the cable on the ground and flank it with two objects that are only slightly higher than its width. Then, they should place one of the EV's wheels on top. Simple, yet effective.


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