Remember the story about how six Toyota Highlanders were stolen from a Canadian neighborhood in one night? If you're one of the unlucky victims of car theft, there are several important steps to take in order to respond in the best manner.
- Make sure your car is actually gone
Contact the police as soon as possible
- Everyone has "lost" their car in a parking lot at one point. That car isn't stolen; you just can't find it. Check around the different levels and rows, and determine whether your car could have been towed or impounded.
Call your insurance company
- Note down the report number. The sooner the police start looking for it, the more likely it will be found; most stolen cars are recovered within 48 hours of the theft.
Learn from the experience
- Have the following information at hand: when/where you last saw your vehicle, certificate of title for the vehicle, year/make/model, vehicle identification mode, the name of the police department at which you filed your report, the police report number, list of personal property stolen with your vehicle, and if your vehicle was financed/leased. If the vehicle is recovered, let your insurance company know ASAP.
- In the future, always lock your car, don't park it in out-of-the-way locations, don't leave it outside overnight, have a security system installed, never leave your car running unattended, never leave valuables in plain sight in your car, et cetera.