Aug 06, 2023
Caught on camera: Thieves now targeting one pricey electric car part
When Bob Schneiderman walked out to the driveway of his Mid-City Los Angeles house one recent morning, he noticed something missing: the all-important charging cord for his electric car. "I couldn't
When Bob Schneiderman walked out to the driveway of his Mid-City Los Angeles house one recent morning, he noticed something missing: the all-important charging cord for his electric car.
"I couldn't believe it," Schneiderman told the NBC4 I-Team. "It made no sense. I thought maybe I'd left it somewhere."
Then on a hunch, he looked back at his RING security camera, and noticed that at 5:22 a.m., a man in a hoodie and mask walked up his driveway, unplugged the cord from his car, unplugged the other end from the outside wall socket, and took off on a bike.
"This guy was so quick," Schneiderman said. "He was so fast at it."
There are now more than 1 million electric vehicles in California, and pricey cables used to charge them are a hot item for thieves, who either post them on popular resale websites or sell them for scrap metal since they're full of expensive copper wiring.
On apps like Nextdoor, people across Southern California are posting videos showing thieves stealing the EV charging cables, often in about 13 seconds or less.
"Caught a guy on bike trying to steal my charger. Chased him away. While taking flight, he dropped his backpack and had another charger inside," one LA resident posted on Nextdoor.
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"A guy tried to break into my car [to steal the charging cord]... but a neighbor stopped him. Within a few weeks, two other neighbors had theirs taken," posted another resident.
"I never had a concern about charging my car in the driveway. I've had electric cars for eight years, and never had a problem," Schneiderman told NBC4.
And replacing his stolen cable was pricey at $2,700, though charging cords for other EVs are less.
To protect your EV charging cord from thieves, police suggest:Get Southern California news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC LA newsletters.