According to NHTSA data, there are over 800,000 people affected by vehicle theft annually. In 2020, this resulted in a cost of over $7 billion to vehicle owners. In response to this, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has declared July as Vehicle Theft Prevention Month.
These incidents are not simple “smash and grabs” resulting in the loss of radios and vehicle contents or people stealing wheel covers. Car thieves will take anything they see valuable: doors, engines, transmissions, air bags, radios, GPS units, cell phones, iPads, laptops, and purses. Catalytic convertor theft has seen a significant increase over recent years due to the precious metals used in them.
If you are a victim of this crime, there are some basic steps you must follow:
Immediately contact the police. When you do, you will need to provide them with:
Year, make, model, and color of your vehicle
License plate number
Vehicle identification number or (VIN)
Any identifying characteristics – stickers, damage, etc.
Contact your insurance company within 24 hours to file a claim
They will need a copy of the police report, case number & contact information
If you find your vehicle first, contact the police and your insurance company
Do not recover the vehicle yourself; allow the police to process the vehicle first