When your car is stolen, it is a scary and distressing event. Most of us never dream of this possibility, so we do not know what to do when it occurs. The first thing to consider before the car is stolen is what you can do to prevent it from happening. There are things you can do to make it next to impossible for someone to steal your vehicle, thus preventing the problem in the first place.
The most obvious way to keep a thief from taking your car is to put anti-theft devices on it. This not only prevents your car from being stolen, but it also often lowers your insurance premium. Such anti-theft devices include lo jacks and car alarms. Also, locking your vehicle whenever you are not in it is a big deterrent for would-be thieves. Today’s cars have anti-theft features built right in that make it difficult to steal a locked car. If you can, park your vehicle inside a garage or in an area with plenty of lighting.
There are other preventative measures you should take so you will be prepared if your car is stolen. You may want to have your vehicle identification number engraved in a place on your car that is hidden from view. Thieves often alter the VIN number on your car, so etching it in a hidden place will help it to be identified if it is stolen and altered.
You should keep copies of all your important paperwork somewhere other than in your vehicle. The paperwork you need to copy includes your insurance information, registration, driver’s license, receipts for expensive additions to your car, and other receipts that will help identify the car as yours, such as a receipt for a major repair. Of course, the original insurance and registration papers should stay inside your car at all times.
Another tactic to help you in the event of a theft is to have pictures of your vehicle in your file. This proves the value of the car if you should need to submit a claim to your insurance company. Also, if the police are searching for your car, the picture may help them find it.
With these measures in place, if someone should try to steal your car, you will be prepared. If this occurs, you may feel like panicking. Knowing what to do will help keep you calm. Here are the steps you need to take to ensure that you get your car back as quickly as possible.
The first thing you need to do is telephone the police. You should give them a thorough description of your vehicle, including any special features that would help them identify it. You can give them the license plate as well. You should have this number committed to memory so that you can quickly give it to the police officer and get your car back in one piece. Remember, the sooner you get the description to the police officer, the more likely it is that you will get your car back without any damage. Don’t forget to tell the police where your car was stolen. This gives them a starting point for their search.
Once you have described the theft and your vehicle to the police, follow any instructions they have for you. You may need to deliver copies of your insurance, registration, and other paperwork to the police department. Do this right away. If you find that your car was not stolen and the incident was just a matter of miscommunication, tell the police department immediately. You do not want someone you care about who is driving your car to be pulled over by the police and arrested.
Next, contact your insurance company. Even while the police are searching for your vehicle, the insurance agency can begin to process your claim. This way you can get a rental car quickly without cost to you.
It may happen that you find your car before the police do. If you do, call the police and give them the location, but avoid approaching the car. The thief may be hiding nearby and may attack. Also, if there is any evidence in the car that could lead to the arrest of the thief, this could be damaged when you start messing with the car. You do, after all, want this thief captured and punished for stealing your car!
These steps are simple, and they will help you stay protected in the unfortunate event of a car jacking. Also, make sure you do not forget about your insurance company. They are there to help you through this situation, and they want to see you back in your car driving down the road. If you forget what to do, always call the police first and your insurance company second. They will tell you exactly how to proceed to get your car back as quickly as possible.