There is a high probability that at one point or another you or someone you know will have a vehicle stolen at some point. According to the FBI, a vehicle is broke into and stolen every 43 seconds in the United States. It does not matter where you live or how low the crime rate is in your area, auto theft is something that can happen anywhere. A stolen vehicle is something that can ruin anybody’s day but if you are properly prepared and know the steps you need to take, it can make the process of recovering the vehicle easier than you may think. The most important thing to do is to stay calm and not panic, since panicking will just make the situation worse.
Check with Various Wrecking Yards
Believe it or not, there are many vehicles that people think are stolen but have in fact, been towed. This can be from a number of reasons including being illegally parked. The first step you need to take is to contact local wrecking yards because there is a chance that the vehicle may already be there. This is also the ideal first step for those who do not have the proper insurance. When you locate the car in a wrecking yard, it eliminates a police report that could result in you being in trouble for not having insurance.
Assemble Your Car’s Identifying Information
The second step you need to do is to get all of the information about your car; virtually anything that you can think of that makes your car stand out so the police can find it. This information should include the VIN number, which can be found on insurance documents or the title; the color of the car, the license plate number and any scrapes or dents that can make the vehicle stand out. While some car thieves may replace your plate with another one, when you give a quality description of the car it can help the police to recover it.
Contact the Police
The next step is to contact the local authorities to report the theft. When reporting a crime like this it is important that the previous step of having all of the information available was done properly. The police will ask you about all of the identifying information as well as other aspects like who the finance company is if there is money owed on the vehicle and who your insurance carrier is. They will also ask you other information like when and where you saw your car last and who has access to any spare keys. They may also ask you to show them all of your spare keys so that these keys are accounted for.
Contact the Insurance and Finance Company
After the police report has been filed, you will need to contact your insurance company. They are going to ask you about a lot of the same things that the police did including who has access to your spare keys and when and where you saw the vehicle last. They will also request a copy of the police report so they can verify the accuracy of the report and your statements. Believe it or not, there are still many people who do not have the required liability insurance. If you are one of these consumers who do not have liability insurance when your car is stolen, you are probably going to ask yourself how to find US auto insurance. When you go to sites like AutoInsurance.US, you can compare different policies with different companies so you can get the insurance you need quickly and easily at a price you can afford. You also need to contact the bank who holds to lien on your vehicle. They will also request a copy of the police report as well so be sure you get plenty of copies made.
Wait For Any News
Once you have gone through the steps of getting the theft reported properly to the right authorities and companies, all there is to do is wait. You need to wait patiently and let the police do their jobs. You can however, put pictures of your car up on social networking sites that can get the word out and get other people to watch out for it; just be sure to let them know to contact the authorities if they see it.
Once you get your car back, you should take steps to prevent the theft from happening again. Little things like not keeping your spare keys on your car or installing some kind of alarm system or low jack can keep thieves from targeting your car again.
Richard Ackerman is an insurance expert and car security expert. He enjoys sharing his tips and expertise on a variety of motoring blogs online.