A WOMAN was taken to court over keying a Tesla in a Poole car park after the car's onboard cameras caught her red-handed.

The owner of the Tesla discovered the £1,000 worth of damage that had been caused when his partner returned home in the vehicle.

Having initially been unsure what caused it, footage stored on the car's hard drive was able to provide all the answers.

He presented police with clear recordings of the crime being committed, as well as images of the offender's face as she walked towards the vehicle and the registration plate of the vehicle she was driving, which was parked next to the Tesla.

This allowed officers to carry out an investigation and secure a conviction in court earlier this month.

A force spokeswoman said police received a report at around 7.10pm on June 21 of criminal damage to a vehicle, which occurred at Redlands car park in Poole. It was reported that the incident occurred at around 1.25pm the previous day.

A Dorset Police spokesperson said: “The vehicle involved had on-board CCTV, which provided clear and exceptional quality images capturing the defendant causing damage.

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“The defendant was identified from the footage and subsequently was brought before the court to face the consequences for her actions."

The crime was filmed through the vehicle's 'sentry mode', which continuously monitors the environment around the car when it is left unattended.

Tesla's website says 'sentry mode' uses the car's external cameras to detect potential threats.

"While no alarm system can prevent against all vehicle thefts, break-ins and threats, we hope that with sentry mode and our other security features, your Tesla will be even more secure," the car manufacturer says.

The owner of the Tesla damaged in Poole, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Daily Echo: "The sentry system is brilliant.

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"The front camera caught the woman walking towards our car. The camera on the wing mirror showed her putting stuff in the passenger side of her car before she keyed the car."

He added: "Police told us usually when people scratch cars it is almost impossible to get anything done. Car park cameras are normally positioned too far away. The system on the Tesla is great.

"I knew the car had something like this but I didn't know how good it was."

Anna Maria Valente, 57 and of Alumhurst Road, Bournemouth, pleaded guilty to damaging a motor vehicle to the value of £1,078.83 at a Poole Magistrates' Court hearing on December 9.

She was discharged conditionally for six months and ordered to pay £1,078.83 compensation, £22 surcharge and £85 costs.