What to do if Your Car or Truck is Stolen

You return to your parking spot, keys in hand and ready to hop in an drive home. Suddenly you realize you’re standing where your car should be and it’s not there!

Ten cars are stolen every hour in the UK. In the USA, one is stolen every 44 seconds. Unless you’re blessed with extraordinarily good luck, chances are you may someday be affected by car crime or know someone who is.

It Happens Everywhere to Anyone

You may have thought you locked your car, but maybe you didn’t. Or maybe you did actually lock the doors but a car thief has either jimmied the lock or used a high-tech device to hack your keyless entry.

However it happened, it’s certainly not rare to have your car stolen. Stolen cars cost us all… they’re used in other crimes, and they make all our auto insurance premiums go up.

Prevention tips range from using common sense in where you choose to park, to car manufacturers who use the latest technology in keyless entry… including smartphone apps that lock and unlock auto locks.

Cars are much more difficult to steal these days, thanks to advances in key technology and security. However, there are still enough thefts that police departments often don’t have the resources to chase down every stolen car.

Nevertheless, it’s important to report car crime to the police.

Dealing With Car Crime

Car theft is never incredibly bearable, but there are ways to combat the frustration and fear that most people encounter when their vehicle is stolen. Straight from police officers throughout the country, here are important guidelines on what to do if your car or truck is stolen.

Guidelines on What to Do When Your Car or Truck is Stolen

If your car is stolen, definitely call the police. Here are the steps to take in order to do that properly.

1. Focus. Before you jump to conclusions, center yourself and think things through. Sometimes vehicles are towed, not stolen. Look around: did you park under a “No Parking” sign? Is there a temporary parking restriction because of an event, such as a parade or a charity run? Look for evidence that your car was towed. Getting towed is no fun either, but it sure beats having your car stolen.

2. Focus Again. Maybe your car isn’t where you thought it would be. Are you actually in the right spot? Maybe you’re on a different level of the parking garage? An entirely different lot at the airport? A few streets over?

3. Check Your Loan. If you are behind in your car payments, there’s a chance your car was repossessed or impounded. If there’s any chance of this at all, make a quick phone call to your lender first, before you call the police.

4. Check Your Memory. In the name of exploring every single explanation possible for your missing vehicle, is there a chance somebody borrowed your car or truck? Even if you didn’t lend it to anyone, check for the spare key and if it’s not there, maybe someone borrowed without asking.

5. Now call the police. Once you’ve exhausted all of the above possibilities, now it’s time to call the police. You’ll file a report, and they will ask you for certain information to complete the report. Here’s what you’ll be asked to supply:

  • The make and model of your car, including the year.
  • The vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Your registration
  • The license plate number
  • Your driver’s license

Do yourself a favor and gather that information now, so if your car is stolen you’re ready.

6. Call your Auto Insurance Provider

Your auto insurance company needs to know about the theft, too. You might wonder why this is necessary. Consider this: if your car is stolen and then used in a crime, you’ll want it on the record that your car was stolen long before the crime was committed and you had nothing to do with any criminal activity!

The same goes for your stolen car that might then become involved in some sort of accident that harms someone or their property. In that case, you won’t be on the line for that, either.

7. Call Your Lender

Your lender will also want to know if your car has been stolen, so be sure to call them, too.

Finally, while you’re reading this, keep in mind that up to half of all car thefts are due to some sort of oversight or mistake by the car driver. Be sure to keep track of your car and truck keys, and always lock your vehicle doors.