Jacksonville tesla carjacking
Courtesy Action News Jax
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A recent carjacking attempt in Jacksonville, Florida shows us the value of situational awareness, quick thinking, and fast cars.

Draper Younce, a Naval officer, got a nasty surprise in a parking lot. A man ran from around the side of an apartment building and pointed a handgun at him while he was sitting in his Tesla Model 3 talking on his phone.

“The first thing I said was, ‘No, man, I’m not getting out of the car,'” Younce told FOX Business. “And the second thing I said … ‘this is a Tesla, you can’t steal a Tesla.'”

What the would-be robber didn’t know was that the whole thing was caught on the vehicle’s eight cameras. While the cameras were originally added to Tesla vehicles for use with the car’s driver assist technology, they can also be set to act as an advanced multi-angle dash camera system. The car can record everything that happens around it.

Younce told media outlets like Fox Business and Action News Jax that he waited for the right moment to escape, and the car’s unique features gave it to him. When the carjacker attempted to grab the door handle, he found that he couldn’t because they’re flush with the car when it’s locked. This brief moment of confusion caused the robber to point his gun away from Younce briefly. That’s when the driver decided to launch the vehicle like a SpaceX rocket.

The robber managed to get one shot off, striking the car’s B-pillar. The shot narrowly missed striking Younce. At that point, footage from the vehicle’s rear camera shows the carjacker fleeing the scene.

While the vehicle can be set to continuously record, it doesn’t save the footage to a memory card or hard drive unless the driver tells it to do so. In Younce’s case, he programmed it to save footage when he honks the horn, which he quickly did once he was out of harm’s way.

Younce is offering a cash reward and hopes that by sharing the footage, someone can identify the robber. More information is available on his Twitter feed.

What We Can Learn

Situational awareness is key. The sooner you see someone advancing on you with a gun, the sooner you’re able to take action. In this case, seeing the man approaching in the mirror could have led to the owner driving away sooner.

By not seeing the carjacker until he was already in his face pointing a gun at him, the owner was only able to narrowly avoid being shot. The situation could have been much worse had the shot gone just a few inches to the right.

Don’t forget to train for situations like this. Start by visualizing what you would do during an attempted carjacking, then find safe ways to practice dealing with the situation on the range.

In some situations, you’ll want to drive off if at all possible, especially if you have kids in the vehicle. If that’s not possible, you’d be better off fighting or letting them take the car. If you do choose to fight, make sure you have an opening, like a moment where the thief is distracted and briefly turns away.

One oddball non-lethal tip I got from a guy who had been robbed several times in New York is to use dollar bills like fighter jets use flares and chaff. Thieves are looking for a quick buck, and the guy would carry $10 in singles in his pocket. If someone presented a knife or gun, he’d throw the money on the ground to distract the thief and run while the thief stooped down to grab the cash. In every case, the thieves went for the money.

Having a fast, technologically sophisticated car doesn’t hurt, either. Hopefully as more vehicles not only go electric, but add cameras for accident avoidance and self-driving capability (and also capture every move a potential carjacker makes), more of them think twice before trying it. But hope isn’t a plan.


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    • I feed birds everyday or I should say, they have me feeding them. Nonetheless birds never cease using situational awareness. No sitting still enjoying a meal for them. It’s constant looking all around before taking their next quick bite. I refuse to live like that and I will not live like a doofus totally unaware of their surroundings. Somewhere in the middle has worked thus far.

      Obviously the tesla hijacking perp has poop for brains otherwise he would not do the things he does. But that’s not my problem. It is his problem if he confronts the wrong person or if and when he gets caught, etc.

      Good news is…The sweating profusely perp on the run knows his behind is cemented in deep legal dodo. It won’t be long before the only Teslas the perp will see again are those pictured in approved magazines for inmates.

  1. Wow. The wildlife in Jacksonville is getting aggressive. One reason I don’t live in Florida.

    • Scumbags like this live in every state. All 50 of them. Sooner or later you may nmmeet one. I already did. When he robbed the furniture store I used to work at. The real joke was on him though, as no one pays cash for furniture. I think he made off with around 30 bux cash. I did get shot at though. The only day I was in a hurry and forgot to take my .38 Rossi snugnose to work.

      • The most trash I ever met was in VA. Currently in Montana, and there is also trash up here, it’s just more spread out. I don’t enjoy falling into stereotyping people in the whole “trailer trash” or “gangbanger” stereotypes, but sometimes if the shoe fits… I mean, 9 times out of 10 that terribly slow driver is probably an elderly person, and you know it as soon as you get behind one lol. Then again, I’ve been overtaken by some older folks in much sportier cars than anything I’ve ever owned too… Just sayin, sometimes the stereotype exists for a reason. They have no one to blame but themselves.

    • Like anywhere else, Florida can be nice, but it can also not be. Florida Man phenomena is very much real. That said, Jacksonville is very much an unmitigated dumpster fire, so much so that it should get as much flak as Detroit or inner city Memphis in terms of the state of affairs there. Being posted to the Naval Base there and compelled to live there is the only reason any rational person would.

      • Your wayyyyyy off hot rod, we have our problem areas for sure oddly enough where people of color congregate. We also have lots of country homes and beachfront stands with some of the finest real estate in Florida.Duval county is one of the largest counties in the United States land wise so your going to have issues in a area so large. Detroit or inner city Memphis? GMAFB you have no clue and we don’t want you coming here anyway yankee.

      • Your wayyyyyy off hot rod, we have our problem areas for sure oddly enough where people of color congregate. We also have lots of country homes and beachfront strands with some of the finest real estate in Florida.Duval county is one of the largest counties in the United States land wise so your going to have issues in a area so large. Detroit or inner city Memphis? GMAFB you have no clue and we don’t want you coming here anyway yankee.

  2. So do we get to see the perp walk? With video and all, surely the cops had this clown within minutes, right?

  3. And if the “suspect” got popped, another $27,000,000 payout for the family. Worth more dead than alive.

    What do I need to do to get $27m? Work for 10-15 lifetimes.

    • Yep a lot of winners lately in the “ghetto$ lottos$” and there will be one almost everyday popping up if this isn’t curtailed some way…..11%-er’s just being themselves!

    • I’m pretty decent at math. The way I see it:

      If the whole family get’s popped, then there is no payout.

      Not to mention the scientific win for humanity…

      Scientific math. The best kind?

      • “I want him dead! I want his family dead! I want his house burned to the ground! I wanna go there in the middle of the night and I wanna piss on his ashes!”

        It works for the Israelis (although they merely bulldoze the houses and don’t kill the families); It worked for the Romans against Carthage (notice how quiet Carthage has been lately?). It’s so crazy, it just might work!

        • “Treat men generously, else destroy them. They pursue revenge for slight injuries. For fatal ones, they cannot.”
          Niccolo Machiavelli

  4. Next, they need to mount automated firearms to shoot the bad guys when you honk the horn (or maybe a special button, so you don’t shoot people unnecessarily).

  5. “…Having a fast, technologically sophisticated car doesn’t hurt, either….”

    Or, because I can go from zero to full on red-neck in 6.7 sec, having a lifted 4wd vehicle with Super Swamp/bog type tires allows one to clear the bodies after you run their car-jacking selves over a few times.
    Doesn’t require sophistication, just attitude.

    • I have 35’s… thanks for clearing the path. I’ll throw you some fuel down the road to keep us going. If I get in front, there might be 10 more “holes in the ozone” within a quarter mile. But I kinda enjoy it… Good way to say “keep your distance, please!”. Cuz brake checking is a dick move 😉

  6. Yeah buy a Tesla(😕)….and be targetted. I have friend’s who have ’em. They’ve had problems. Anyways good for this guy. Your car didn’t catch fire😏

    • You mean like all the Kia and Hyundai cars that are catching fire? It amazes me how many gas powered cars catch on fire each and every day, yet a few Teslas have a battery fire, and it’s the end of the world. Hmmm… sound familiar?

      And yes, I have a Tesla. And you would be surprised how much guns and ammo it can hold with the back seats down. 🙂

      • It’s not an issue if you want to own an EV.
        The problem is when our government/other wants to force everyone into them.

        • Even worse, is the chokehold that bitch ass companies like Tesla have on the “right to repair”. Fuck Tesla, and thinking you are some patriot for having guns when you buy into companies like them is the biggest hypocrisy of today. Some people wouldn’t know freedom if it slapped them in the face. The tech is great, the companies are fucking terrible.

        • Honestly, as billionaires go, Musk seems like the least offensive of them all. He’s seemingly anti-woke and refuses to kotow on that point. Generally, he’s the only billionaire I see ever give any flak to other billionaires when they puppet leftist and identity politics talking points. I’m sure he’s far from perfect and has played dirty to get where he is, they all have. That said, if I had to pick one over the others it would be him by a mile.

      • Gasoline fires are only more common by virtue of their being many more ICE cars than electric. They are also much easier to deal with for firefighters, and the fuel can be separated from the ignition source. The fuel tank is usually on the opposite end from the engine.

        Electric car fires are a nightmare to deal with. A runaway exothermic reaction in a lithium battery pack burns hot enough to melt steel and can’t be smothered because it’s producing its own oxygen. Best case scenario is dumping the whole car in a water tank to thermally isolate it and letting the reaction runs its course. And even then, it might reignite hours later…

        • sounds almost like dealing with a phosphorus fire where you have to smother it with sad/mud/earth or whatever to stop it, and any oxygen getting to it will reignite it.

  7. “…but add cameras…”

    Surveillance cameras can also be used for nefarious purposes, so I’ll pass.

  8. Where is the 6th grade graduation picture of this young man? This photo makes him look like a criminal.


  10. Hey guy who got shot at in this story here.

    Update:sadly haven’t caught the shooter. The mask and him actually being in another stolen car prior to this helped him get away.

    Some people who didn’t know about this read only find stories and send it to me in disbelief. Is this you?!?? So that brought me to this. I just wanted to say this was one of, if not the best written story of what happened. Thank you for putting in detail and making it a nice read. I commend you on that and keep up the good work!!!

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