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In a wild form of 21st-century citizen's arrest, a Tesla Model 3 owner used the power of technology to keep a carjacker from taking off with his electric car and locked the would-be thief inside the EV until police arrived. Image Credit: Tesla

Stylish looks, spirited performance, a healthy driving range – indeed there are several neat features of the Model 3 but perhaps the best is the Tesla app because it put paid to a potential carjacking!

When 21-year-old Charlie Smith jumped into the EV and tried to steal it, the owner whipped out his iPhone and using the app he was able to turn off the car and lock it and trap the wannabe carjacker inside.

The incident occurred on May 8 in Barstow, California and even though the Model 3 features door unlock buttons on the grab handles, evidently, Smith couldn’t find them. Police officers soon arrived at the scene and made an arrest.

"When officers placed [the suspect] under arrest, they observed that he was sweating profusely and was twitching and blinking his eyes rapidly," the department said in a Facebook post. He was charged with carjacking and violation of parole, according to county jail records. The latter of those charges is not eligible for bail and Smith remained at the detention centre in San Bernardino.

Tesla owners can execute a number of commands from the company's mobile app, including the ability to start and turn off the car and lock the doors. It's not unique to Tesla, as numerous automakers offer similar functions via smartphone apps, but what is unique is the Sentry Mode and the array hidden cameras positioned on the vehicle which can help to fight or deter crime and which has caught many vandals and burglars.