Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Crime & Emergencies
Published on October 15, 2018
Tesla crashes into Castro utility pole, occupants flee scene [Updated]Photo: Sally S./Hoodline Tipline

Over the weekend, a Tesla Model X squeezed itself between two poles, "totaling" the car in a collision caused by unknown origins, according to Hoodline tipster Sally S. 

The incident occurred on Saturday, October 13, around 5 p.m. on the corner of Sanchez and Hancock streets in the Castro, near Mission Dolores Park.

"I heard a bang in front of my home on Hancock," said our tipster. "I went to the window and looked down and saw a Tesla wedged between a telephone pole and street pole. All air bags had opened." 

Our tipster said that she yelled out to see if the occupants of the vehicle were OK, and one of the passengers responded with, "We're alright."

Upon arriving downstairs, a passenger was seen jumping out of the wrecked electric car. The passenger subsequently ran and entered a white Ford Mustang parked in front of a yellow Victorian home. The Mustang then fled the scene down Hancock Street toward Noe Street, Sally S. said. 

The driver reportedly fled the scene on foot. 

A neighbor reportedly wrote down the Mustang's license plate number, which was given to police when they arrived at the scene. The Tesla itself, however, did not have licenses plates and neighbors speculated that the car may have been stolen, though we've not been able to confirm. 

Photo: Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine/Flickr

It's quite uncommon for Teslas to be targets of theft, according to Market Watch. In 2011, only one Tesla had ever been stolen in the U.S., four years after its first model, the Tesla Roadster, had been introduced. 

While that number has increased in recent years — in 2016 there were 28 purloined, 57 in 2017 and 23 from January to May 2018 — almost all of those stolen vehicles have been recovered, including the Roadster taken in 2011. 

Part of Tesla's frequent recovery stems from the car's GPS tracking technology, its keyless entry system and a lack of demand for stolen parts — a key reason for most car thefts. 

We've reached out to SFPD for more information about the incident but have not heard back. This is a developing story and will be updated as warranted. 

[Update, 3:12 p.m.] Officer Adam Lobsinger tells Hoodline that police responded to reports of a vehicle collision at Sanchez and Hancock streets at approximately 3:48 p.m. on Saturday. Upon arrival, no suspects were located at the scene. Witnesses told officers that there might be two subjects associated with the car that fled the area. At this time, no one is in custody and the investigation is still active and ongoing. 

Anyone who has information about any of these incidents is encouraged to contact SFPD via the department's anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444, or text TIP411 with "SFPD" at the start of the message.

Here’s why we usually don’t include suspect descriptions in crime reports.