You keep telling yourself that it cannot possibly happen to you. But then one day, where your car is usually parked is nothing but a vacant spot. The unfortunate reality is that just over 1 in 150 households are affected by car theft. But a stolen vehicle is not the end of the world, especially if you have a GPS tracker. By acting quickly and following these 8 steps, your vehicle has a far greater chance of being swiftly recovered.
1. Call The Police
The first thing to do is call emergency (000, 911, etc) and ask for the police. The sooner you do, the more likely your vehicle can be recovered. The police will ask where your vehicle was stolen and when you last saw it. They will need the make, model, year, colour, registration number, vehicle identification number (VIN) and if there were any valuables left inside.
2. Share Tracker Login
If you happen to have a GPS tracking device installed, you’re in luck, because you have the greatest chance of rapid theft recovery. Assuming you’re happy to share your tracker login details, the police officer can see the whereabouts of your vehicle in real time and can start pursuing the thief without delay. Alternatively, you may wish to inform the officer over the phone about your vehicle’s current or last known location, or they may request to get in contact directly with your GPS tracking provider. Even if a thief removes or disables your tracker, your car’s last known location is still a valuable lead for the police.
3. Get Copy Of Police Report
Furthermore, ask them about receiving a copy of the police report, as your insurance provider and other important contacts may ask for one.
4. Do Not Attempt To Retrieve It
Out of the interest of your own safety, DO NOT try to find your vehicle by yourself. Leave that job to the police who are highly trained at pursuing and approaching thieves.
5. Use Social Media
You may feel helpless not being part of the chase, but what you can do is reach out on all your social media channels. Post pictures and describe your vehicle in detail. You never know, someone may have seen something. Every little bit helps.
6. Call Your Insurance Provider
The second call you’ll make is to your insurance provider. They will ask for your policy number, level of cover and any valuable items that were in the car such as your phone, wallet or GPS.
Depending on your level of cover, you may receive compensation for your stolen vehicle and valuables. If not, take this moment to remove your vehicle from your policy so that you don’t keep paying to keep it insured.
7. Tidy Up Your Affairs
If your handbag, briefcase, wallet or any sensitive documents were in your car, call every important contact such as your bank and credit card provider. If you still owed money on your car, contact your loan provider. If your keys are missing or if they were left in the car, contact a locksmith to have your house locks replaced.
8. Don’t Panic
Most importantly, it’s important to remember that there’s no point panicking. As upsetting and invasive as it is to be stolen from, try to stay calm, clear headed and rational. There is always the likelihood that your car will be safely recovered, and police can do their job more efficiently if they’re not having to also calm you down.