Historian Dan Jones says his Tesla is used as a 'hotel' by an intruder

‘My Tesla is functioning as a nice hostel’: TV historian Dan Jones reveals an intruder has been repeatedly breaking into his luxury electric car at night to watch Peaky Blinders on Netflix

  • Mr Jones parks his Tesla outside his house in Staines-upon-Thames in Surrey
  • After months of strange signs, he found an England rugby hat left in the footwell
  • Somehow, the tech-savvy Tesla interloper had overridden the car’s security 
  • Clues suggest that they use the car to watch Netflix, relax and even take drugs 
  • The intruder also toggled Mr Jones’ family Netflix account into French language 

TV historian Dan Jones’ Tesla has been doubling as a ‘four star hotel’ for a tech-savvy intruder, who has been breaking into it while it is parked overnight and watching Netflix shows on the inbuilt television. 

Mr Jones realised, after months of strange signs, that somebody was breaking into his Tesla Model 3 on January 7 when he discovered an England rugby cap in the luxury vehicle’s passenger footwell.

The blue knitted hat with the red rose of the England rugby club was incontrovertible proof that a stranger had been inside the Tesla, given Mr Jones supports Wales. 

‘That came as insult to injury,’ Mr Jones told The Sunday Times. ‘There was no more doubt: somebody had been in the car.’ 

For months, Mr Jones said he had noticed peculiar happenings in his Tesla, such as the battery being depleted in the morning and the seat being pushed far back.  

TV historian Dan Jones said he was alerted to the fact his Tesla Model 3 was being used ‘like a four star hotel’ to watch Netflix, relax and even do drugs after he discovered a left-behind England rugby hat in the passenger seat footwell

On the morning of January 7, Mr Jones found – alongside the England hat – an empty coin bag by the side of the passenger seat and drug paraphernalia in the driveway.

On the back seat, the family dog’s bed had been rolled into a pillow, all four lights had been turned on and the passenger seat had been reclined.

Mr Jones said: ‘It now falls into place. Somebody’s been watching Netflix each night in my car.

‘And why not? It’s like a four star hotel. It’s got comfy seats. You can recline.’

It still remains a mystery, according to the TV historian, how exactly the intruder managed to override the security settings of the Tesla Model 3, controlled by Mr Jones’ iPhone, and how he hacked into the family’s Netflix account.

Mr Jones subsequently left a note in the Tesla’s window, letting the interloper know that he had his hat and asking him to get in touch via text message – but he didn’t hear anything back

‘If you have that level of technical competence, you would not be living a transient lifestyle. I would be committing crypto-fraud,’ joked Mr Jones.

Mr Jones’ Tesla was parked each night in front of the family home in Staines-upon-Thames in Surrey.

The family dog, a poodle named Prince, failed to alert Mr Jones and his family to the intruder’s presence – although Mr Jones said Prince normally barks when he hears unfamiliar footsteps outside on the gravel.

The cheeky Tesla intruder left a few clues as to their identity in their Netflix viewing history: Peaky Blinders, Suits, The Crown, the American version of The Office and Downton Abbey.  

They also got halfway through a horror series, The Conjuring, using the account of Mr Jones’ daughter. 

For months, Mr Jones had shrugged off strange happenings in his Tesla – such as the battery being depleted in the morning or the seat being pushed far back

‘I used to tell her she should not be watching it, and wouldn’t believe her when she denied it,’ said Mr Jones.

Another clue to the Tesla interloper’s identity lies in the fact they had toggled Mr Jones’ Netflix into French language. 

Mr Jones has tried to get in touch with the mysterious intruder, leaving a note in the Tesla’s window that reads: ‘I have your hat. If you need it back, text me.’

‘We are in general sympathetic to people who are in unfortunate straitened circumstances,’ said Jones, whose wife is the co-founder of Beauty Banks, a charity for people in ‘hygiene poverty’. 

‘But nobody texted,’ said Mr Jones, joking that perhaps he should have written the note in French.  

Mr Jones said he was not ‘necessarily keen’ on the idea of people doing drugs in his car, however.

‘It’s basically functioning as a hostel – quite a nice one,’ Mr Jones added. 

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