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Car Stolen? Do this.

  • By Ryan Skidmore

  1. Determine if your car was actually stolen. There could be many reasons for a car not being where it “should” be. Make sure it was not misplaced, borrowed by a child or spouse, towed, repossessed, or moved for some other reason. Parking signage should provide a phone number to find out if your car has indeed been towed. Also, call local tow shops to find out if your car was towed. You would be surprise to see how often a car has been towed instead of stolen.
  2. Call the police. Once done, the game is afoot. The police possess and exercise the resources necessary to recover your ride. After the first 72 hours lapse, the likelihood of getting it back drops dramatically. (The Motley Fool) A police report will be in order, containing make, model, plate number, any GPS tracking devices installed, and any unique qualities like that “double-head dragon thing” painted on the hood. If you have a GPS tracking device on the vehicle you can share that information with the police and you can work together with them in providing tracking information if the GPS tracking device is still active and working properly. This could dramatically increase the changes of recovering your vehicle quickly. Remember the key is to work with the police.
  3. Gather all the needed documents. First, get the essentials; like title, insurance card, and registration. ( Your insurance and other institutions near on your horizon will need them. Second, gather the “nice to haves,” like maintenance records, receipts for tires or after market parts, and anything else you have will be helpful if anyone asks for them. ( Pro tip: there is no such thing as too much documentation.
  4. Contact your insurance company. Starting a claim is the first step to getting another car. Every insurance company’s process will differ slightly, but the end is the same, compensation for the stolen vehicle. Likely, the car may be recovered before the payout is made. If the car is damaged, insurance may help pay for the repair. Additionally, insurance may pay to replace any missing items present during the incident, AKA replace your stolen stuff.
  5. Search locally. Finding a stolen vehicle is a numbers game, the more you search the higher your chances of finding it. Taking a lap around your neighborhood might do the trick. Also, take a drive through the rough parts of town. It might be in a car port in some apartment complex. Or in the back of a church parking lot. Tell your friends, tell your family your car was stolen and to keep an eye out. Sometimes, finding it might be as easy as driving down a few side streets and spotting it on the corner, but if you do find it call the police and tell them you found the location of your missing vehicle. Don’t risk your safety over a material object.  Let the police do the recovery work.
  6. Be patient. The finding-machine is in motion and so is the replacing-machine. After these steps, there’s little more you can do to find your car. Given time, one of the two will work.

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