Tesla Model Y falls victim to apparent arson in San Francisco

Authorities in San Francisco are investigating a pair of Tesla Model Y fires as possible acts of arson. One of the incidents, which involved what appeared to be the arsonist setting fire to a white Tesla Model Y, was caught by surveillance camera. 

Firefighters responded to two separate locations in the city’s SoMa district early Saturday morning. Security footage captured the first incident, which occurred around 12:45 a.m. near the intersection of Shipley and 4th Streets. Another fire, approximately one block away near Bonifacio and Mabini Streets, was reported roughly 30 minutes earlier. 

While the motives behind the incident remain unclear, the apparent focus on Tesla vehicles has raised concerns among residents and Tesla owners in the area. As per CBS News, some Tesla owners have responded to the incident by paying for garage parking while they wait for the alleged arsonist to be caught by authorities. 

The owner of one of the burned Model Ys, Van Vuong, noted that he initially didn’t realize that the car that burned up was his electric vehicle. 

“We were going to go get in the car to go play some tennis. First thing I noticed was that, ‘Hey, someone burned a car.’ And we just kind of walked by it and I thought ‘Shoot, where’s my car?’ And I thought ‘No, that can’t be my car.’ And then I kind of looked around at the parts that were here, the license plate was here. And it was white color. And I was like, ‘Oh my God, my car is gone,’” he said

Joanne Baker, who reported the other Tesla Model Y fire to authorities, noted that the fire department actually arrived pretty quickly, but the all-electric crossover was lost nonetheless. “I smelled something and then I woke up. I see this red smoke. And then I opened the window and looked at it and said ‘My God!” Baker said. 

Police are asking the public for any information that could help identify the individual seen in the security footage.

Watch CBS News‘ feature on the incident in the video below.

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