Cars get stolen all the time across countries, and what one does after realizing that his or her car has been stolen plays a huge part in its recovery.
When you realize that your car has been stolen, it is important you file a complaint immediately to increase the chances of finding the car. Therefore, the question is, can I report a car stolen if I know who has it?
You can report a car stolen if you know who has it provided you’re the registered owner of the car and have waited and given the person enough time to return it; if the person still refuses to return the car, you can report it as stolen.
Can I Report a Car Stolen if I Know Who Has It?
Yes, you can report a car stolen if you know who has it, however, this can only be done by the recognized car owner.
Someone can be in possession of your car with or without your consent, either way, you can report the car stolen if they have refused to return the car back to you after many attempts on your part to get it back.
The clause to reporting the car stolen in most states is that you must have waited and given the person enough time to return the car.
Who Can I Report My Stolen Car to?
Irrespective of the state you are resident, you can report your stolen car to law enforcement agents (Local Police) as they are in the best position to help you find your car.
How to Report a Stolen Car
To report a stolen car:
Inform the Local Police
The first course of action when you realize your car has been stolen is to inform the police by filing a police report.
To do this, you should call the local police department and tell them you will like to file for a stolen car report.
When filing the report, you will need to provide information such as;
- Where and when the car was parked
- Car model
- Car type
- Vehicle identification number
- License plate number
- Car year
- Car color, and other relevant information.
Do not forget to get a copy of the police report once you are done. Police can help you get your car back.
Call Your Insurance Company
Once you are done filing the report with the police, you will need to contact your insurance company and report the stolen car.
Here, you will have to file a comprehensive claim by providing a copy of the police report and other information such as;
- Where the car was last seen
- Personal belongings in the car,
- Contact details of your leasing company if you have any, and
- The car title.
Reporting to the insurance company is advisable whether you have coverage or not as it won’t make you liable if any crime were to be committed with the car.
Contact the Leasing Company
If you have a leasing or financing company, you will also need to keep them informed about every stage of the reporting. The leasing company is said to hold the car title therefore any settlement on the car first goes to them.
Contact the DMV
Depending on the state you are resident you may need to file a report with the DMV within a period of time. You will most likely have to repeat the same process of filling out information about the car, and its location before it got stolen and submitting a copy of the police report.
Can I Report my Car Stolen if Someone Stops Making Payments?
Yes, you can report a car stolen if someone stops making payments provided the title is still in your name.
For you to be able to report a car stolen if someone stops making payments on it, the title should still be in your name, once the title has been transferred to them, you can no longer report it stolen
In the event that the title has been transferred, you can sue the person for not fulfilling their end of the bargain.
Can you Report your Car Stolen if they have the Keys?
Yes, you can report a car stolen if someone has the keys but the car is in your possession.
The possibility of reporting the car stolen will depend on who has the key and if you have made any attempt to get the keys back.
Sometimes, if the person with the keys is a family member, it will be seen as a family matter which can be settled within, but if the person is probably an EX, then reporting it as stolen is ideal.
What Happens When I Report my Car Stolen?
When you report a car stolen to the local police, they then proceed to help you find your car using the information provided and the federal and state resources at their disposal.
Also, you will have to continue making payments on the car until it is either found or declared missing.
How Long Do You Have to Wait to Report a Car Stolen?
You shouldn’t wait too long to report a car stolen, it should be done immediately after you find out the car has been stolen. Reporting a car stolen immediately increases the chances of getting it back as soon as possible.
Failure to report a stolen car immediately will not only reduce your chances of finding the car but will also make you liable for any crime that may be done with the car.
What Happens to Someone Who Steals a Car?
A person who steals a car will be faced with serious consequences which include payment of fines, jail time, etc. The severity of the punishment will depend on the state law regarding auto theft. In some states, stealing a car is considered a felony, and the offender will be seriously punished for it.
The punishment for auto theft varies from state to state although some states are known to have the same penalties.
What are the Chances of Getting Back a Stolen Car?
The chances of getting back a stolen car may be high or low depending on the actions taken when you realize the car has been stolen.
Filing a report with the local police immediately after you realize the car has been stolen increases your chances of getting the car back while delaying or trying to find the car on your own will not only increase the length of time within which the car can be found but may also make it impossible to find the car.
One way to increase your chances of getting your car back is to file a stolen car report immediately after you find out. As matter of fact, some states have a period within which you can report a car stolen.