Introduction

No one wants to think about the possibility of having their car stolen. At the same time, it pays to consider these unpleasant possibilities and to be prepared for them. Such preparation can mean the difference between a significant problem and a complete disaster. 

Needless to say, if your car has been stolen, you already have a significant problem. Here are six easy steps that, if followed, can keep the situation from becoming a total catastrophe.

1. Quickly Gather Your Information

Before you rush to pick up that phone and call the authorities, you must first make sure that you know what to tell them. Technically, you could just call them up and say, “Hello, my name is (your name), and I’m here at (your location). My car is missing, and I think it might have been stolen.” 

However, that doesn’t give them much information on which to work. One cannot make bricks without clay, and one cannot do a proper investigation without all the relevant info. Relevant information includes:

  • The approximate time of the theft
  • Any recent threats/enemies that might be involved
  • The exact location of the parked vehicle
  • Identifying marks (scratches, dents, aftermarket mods, etc.)
  • The license plate number
  • The vehicle’s VIN number (check the title or registration))
  • Names of anyone who had access to the vehicle
  • Locations of any nearby cameras
  • A list of valuable items in the vehicle (if any)
  • Information regarding your current insurance policy
  • Names and descriptions of any potential witnesses

2. Call The Police

DO NOT wait to report a stolen car! Like a bloodhound, a police officer can do their best work when they have a fresh trail. Of course, they aren’t going to put their nose to the ground and sniff out the perpetrator, but it is nevertheless true to say that cold trails are always harder to follow.

More importantly, the police will be able to confirm that your car was stolen. If your vehicle has been towed for illegal parking, the local authority will indeed have a record of that fact. Thus, although it may be embarrassing, you can confirm whether or not your car has been stolen. No matter what happens, make sure you get a copy of the police report (or at least the report number), as you will need it for the next step.

3. Call Your Insurance Company and Your Lender

Once the proper authorities have been notified, your next priority is to inform your insurance company. If your car is being financed, you will also need to contact your lender. The sooner you let them know, the better. Like the police, they will want all the information that you can give them.

There is no doubt they will ask if you have reported the theft to the police. When you tell them that you have, they will undoubtedly ask you to obtain a copy of the police report. If you have been following our advice thus far, you should have already ordered a copy of such. The officer will probably have given you the report number, at least.

There could be a delay of up to a week before you get the report in your hands, but you should at least have the report number.

4. Consider The Use Of GPS Tracking

Some vehicles have built-in GPS tracking. If yours is one of them, you are in luck. The police should be able to locate the car with relative ease. Very few criminals would be smart enough or knowledgeable enough to remove the tracker.

If not, consider whether or not you have any items in the vehicle that might be equipped with GPS. That might include phones, tablets, other mobile devices, or even a navigational device. If none of this proves viable, you should consider putting a GPS tracker on your next vehicle.

Conclusion

The best-case scenario is one in which your vehicle was pre-equipped with a GPS tracker. Without that, it’s a toss-up as to whether you will get your car back or not. However, no matter how the situation turns out, it is essential to make sure that you have done the right and proper things.

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