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How to Report a Car Theft

Cover these bases when your car is stolen to notify relevant parties and help ensure vehicle recovery or replacement.


  • Step 1: Confirm the car is stolen Consider whether your car may have been towed due to a parking violation or repossession. Check with the impound lot in the city where you last saw the vehicle to verify whether the car is there.
  • Step 2: Collect vehicle information Collect the following vehicle information for the theft report: year, make, model, body style, color, license plate number, vehicle identification number (VIN), value, and insurance carrier.
  • Step 3: File a police report File a written report with the local or state police in the municipality where the theft occurred. Make the report only if you are the vehicle's registered owner.
  • TIP: Look on your insurance declarations page or call your insurance company to locate needed vehicle information.
  • Step 4: Call your insurance company Report the theft to your automobile insurance company online or by phone as soon as possible after filing the police report.
  • TIP: Ask your insurance company if your policy provides for a temporary rental vehicle.
  • Step 5: Complete paperwork Complete and rapidly return any forms, such as a vehicle theft questionnaire, that your insurance carrier requires.
  • TIP: Find out whether your automobile or homeowner's insurance policy may reimburse you for the value of any personal property that you left inside the stolen vehicle.
  • Step 6: Contact your finance or leasing company Call your financing or leasing company, to report the theft. Tell them to discuss the case directly with your insurance carrier to expedite claims processing.
  • Step 7: Notify insurance about recovery Notify your insurance company if and when your vehicle is recovered – and celebrate that your wheels are back in your possession.
  • FACT: Did you know? A motor vehicle is stolen in the U.S. every 26.4 seconds, according to 2006 Federal Bureau of Investigation crime data.

You Will Need

  • The local impound lot's phone number
  • Your vehicleu2019s identifying information
  • Your automobile and homeowner's insurance information
  • The leasing or financing company's phone number

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