Sacramento, CA

Tesla stolen from Sacramento hotel after valet gives keys to would-be car thief

Robert J Hansen

Suspect arrested after racing around downtown from police
The suspect being taken to the hospital after an encounter with a Sacramento PD K9 on January 1, 2022.(Photo courtesy of Public Safety News)

Sacramento, Calif.- by Robert J Hansen

A Tesla was stolen from a Sacramento Hilton on 4th Street in Downtown Sacramento around 8:30 a.m. yesterday after the valet attendant mistakenly gave the subject the keys according to a Facebook post by Public Safety News (PSN).

PSN said the hotel valet attendant went to the garage to get the vehicle but there was a person in the front seat of the vehicle already.

When the valet attendant asked the person's identity, the man gave a name close to the partial information on the valet ticket so the keys were given to the subject.

The attendant went back into the hotel and asked the front desk who was staying in the room and quickly realized the name was not a match and went back to the garage but the vehicle was gone.
The Tesla that was stolen from a Sacramento Hilton and then recovered on January 1, 2022.(Photo courtesy of Public Safety News)

The owner was able to live-track the vehicle and stayed on the phone with dispatchers, guiding officers to the vehicle heading back downtown toward the hotel.

In an email, the Sacramento Police Department’s Public Information Office (PIO) team said officers successfully detained the suspect who was found to have multiple outstanding arrest warrants.

“Upon arriving in the area, officers located the vehicle and attempted an enforcement stop,” the PIO said in the email.

The vehicle failed to yield and a vehicle pursuit was initiated and when the vehicle evaded officers the pursuit was terminated the email said.

Police tracked the vehicle throughout parts of South Sacramento, Tahoe Park, Broadway, and back into Midtown according to PSN.

Officers kept a loose mobile perimeter and stayed out of sight as the vehicle continued west through Midtown on G Street.

The driver then took the vehicle up onto the bike trail in the area of C and 18th Streets then toward Dreher Street behind Blue Diamond Almond Factory, where he stopped on the trail.

The owner was able to place the vehicle into valet mode and activate the speed limiter to 50 mph while the vehicle was stopped.

When officers attempted to approach the vehicle, the subject was able to get the vehicle turned around and started fleeing south on the bike trail and back into the city.

The subject made his way over toward 3rd Street and Capitol, then headed west over the Tower Bridge toward West Sacramento, according to PSN.

“The vehicle was later located parked with the suspect nearby. The suspect fled from officers on foot,” the PIO said.

“After an encounter with a police K9, the suspect was eventually taken into custody at 4th and E Streets in West Sacramento,” PSN said.

The suspect was transported to the hospital via ambulance to have his dog bites treated and the Tesla was returned to its owner.

The subject was arrested for motor vehicle theft and pursuit-related charges as well as outstanding warrants and will be transported to the Sacramento County Main Jail after he is medically cleared according to police.

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Robert J Hansen is an investigative journalist and economist. Focused on holding elected officials, police and the courts accountable to the people throughout the greater Sacramento area.

Sacramento County, CA

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