Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla has introduced a new Sentry mode for its entry level car, the Model 3, in order to better curb attempted theft and break-ins. This will also be applied to Model S and Model X units built after August 2017.

Sentry mode aims to provide an additional layer of security, according to Tesla, by continuously monitoring the car’s immediate surroundings when it is left unattended. Upon entering Standby mode, the Model 3 uses its external cameras to detect potential threats.

If it detects a minimal threat, such as a person leaning on the car, Sentry mode goes into an alert state which displays warning on its touchscreen that cameras are recording. If a more severe threat – such as the breaking of a window – is detected, the car will go into an alarm state which sounds the car’s alarm, plays audio through the car’s sound system at full volume, and centre display brightness is increased.

If the alarm state is triggered, the owner will receive an alert on their Tesla mobile app notifying them of an incident. They can then download a video recording which begins 10 minutes prior to a detected threat, though this requires the insertion of a formatted USB drive into the car prior to enabling Sentry mode.

This comes after dozens of break-ins were reported by Model 3 owners on social media and various forums, according to Electrek. The majority of these break-ins occurred in the San Fransisco Bay Area, California, where targeted cars have their rear side windows broken as thieves have discovered that the Model 3 had no sensor to detect window breakage.

Typically the rear quarter window is broken first to fold the rear seat and see into the boot, and the thief then breaks the main rear door window to access the boot if valuables are found.