Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Disappeared Without a Trace! What to Do if Your Car is Stolen

In the United States, one vehicle is stolen every 40.9 seconds, and that comes out to just over 700,000 stolen vehicles per year. While auto theft is on the decline, every driver still needs to know exactly what they must do after one of these crimes has occurred. The steps that you take immediately following the theft of your vehicle could have a major impact on your finances for months to come. 

File a Report with the Police

Before you contact the police, you must first make sure that your car hasn’t been misplaced or towed. If you are absolutely certain that it has been stolen, then you must immediately call the police and file a report with an officer. The officer will probably ask for quite a bit of information including the last known location of the vehicle and who has access to the keys. You should also tell them about any eye-catching features that will make the vehicle easier to identify.

Contact Your Insurance Provide

Every auto insurance company is slightly different, but most providers require you to file a stolen vehicle report within 48 hours. Even if your vehicle is found right away, you must file a claim with your insurance provider if you want them to cover any damage that has occurred. You must also call your lender if the vehicle is leased or financed. Some lenders will postpone your payments for a short period of time if the vehicle is stolen.

Inform the DMV

Many people are surprised to hear that the DMV actually helps police departments recover stolen vehicles. The DMV keeps a massive database of every vehicle that is stolen in the country, and that database is almost always referenced when police officers impound or tow a vehicle. Unfortunately, you will most likely need to head into your local DMV and fill out the proper paperwork in order for your vehicle to be placed in that database. 

Repair the Damage

If your vehicle is recovered, you need to look for any signs of damage. If any integral parts are damaged, then you must have them repaired right away. That includes the mirrors, tires, bumpers, doors, and any auto glass. Be sure to contact your insurance company again about repairs if your policy covers this. You should also consider replacing all of the locks or installing a brand new security system. The criminal might have made copies of your keys or disabled the security system.

The best way to prevent your vehicle from being stolen is to be sensible and diligent. Most car thefts are crimes of opportunity, and a thief might not even consider taking your vehicle if every door is locked, the windows are rolled up, and the alarm system has been activated.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

Find Us on Social Media

Unable to display Facebook posts.
Show error

Error: Error validating access token: Session has expired on Saturday, 09-Feb-19 10:16:27 PST. The current time is Sunday, 17-Feb-19 07:56:51 PST.
Type: OAuthException
Code: 190
Subcode: 463
Please refer to our Error Message Reference.

IFCS On Twitter

We are just two weeks way from our Nibbles and Sips event. Have you bought your tickets yet?

https://t.co/IgHwnl0rd9

Please be advised we will be closed today due to weather and will re-open Friday, February 8 2019 during normal business hours.

https://t.co/VY3K0mdaH0

Please be advised IFCS will be closed Monday, Jan. 21, 2019 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr Day. We will re-open on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019.

https://t.co/j6x4s2vBwx

Load More...

Key Sponsors

Our Affliations

 

 

IFCS

Sign Up for our eNewsletter

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust

USDA Non-Discrimination Policy

IFCS follows the USDA non-discrimination policy. Learn more by clicking here to read the statement. (PDF)