The ProSolar Caribbean warehouse based in the Virgin Islands experienced, for the first time, what is considered as a “rather strange” robbery. At Thanksgiving weekend and as employees spent time with their families, a couple of men broke into the St. Thomas factory and stole six Tesla Powerwall home batteries and a Ford SUV.
The company immediately released an announcement on giving a handsome $10,000 reward to anyone who could provide a lead to the thieves. The six stolen Powerall batteries are estimated to cost $45,000. Unfortunately for the robbers, it looks like looking for them will post any challenge.
First, the amateur robbers were captured by the ProSolar warehouse’s surveillance system. Second, the robbers carelessly left fingerprints which the investigators easily found.
ProSolar warehouse had alerted Tesla of the incident and provided the serial numbers of the batteries stolen. ProSolar warehouse collaborator described the current situation of the robbers as someone how is carrying a “giant paperweight.”
In addition, Spernak stated that Powerwalls are specialized batteries that could not be run in a simplistic way. These batteries require certain equipment to operate and are often tracked by Tesla.
Tesla monitors the batteries which can be tracked down with over-the-air-updates. The Powerwalls batteries are worthless to salvaged part buyers since the batteries do not have many copper and valuable metals and the high voltage of these batteries make it difficult to dismantle into separate parts.
The robbers also hijacked the oldest 2008 Ford Escape in the ProSolar fleet and the one most likely to break down.
ProSolar Operations Director Brian Walden told the Virgin Islands Daily News that VIPD investigator called him last Tuesday to inform him that the stolen items were retrieved. “They told me that the car and the Powerwalls were recovered,” he added.
While the items have been recovered, V.I. Police Commissioner Trevor Velinor claimed that police have not yet made apprehended the robbers. The investigation is still ongoing and added that the robbers might be familiar with the operating hours of the ProSolar warehouse and the neighboring companies.
As for the Powerwalls, it was severely damaged and not suitable for use anymore. Instead, the batteries are for recycling in one of Tesla’s factories. It seemed the batteries “slide off the floor” which resulted in the paint being scratched off.
Walden shared his relief when the batteries were found. In a statement, he expressed his satisfaction:
“The reward was offered partially to recover the material and also to incentivize someone and say, ‘Look, that behavior’s not appropriate.’ So right now, we’re glad to pay the reward, we’re glad that someone stood up and said that’s not right and we’re glad to get the material back, even if it’s not necessarily usable.”