What to do if your car is stolen - AmericaNowNews.com

What to do if your car is stolen

Imagine this: You return to a parking lot after some shopping, and it hits you like a ton of bricks—your car is gone.

Stolen.

What do you do?

Auto Expert Steve Strope has some time-sensitive tips that will help you improve the chances of getting your vehicle back.

"If you're like most victims of auto theft, you're left stunned and confused and your first reaction may be to call a family member or friend for help," says Strope. "But according to a longtime friend of mine who happens to also be a traffic officer, what you do in the first 72 hours can greatly increase your chances of recovering your vehicle."        

According to Officer Mike, the first step you should take is to make sure that you are in the correct place.                          

"Maybe you parked in a place that was no parking. Check the signs in the area. It might have been towed. Make sure you're current on your payments. If you're late three or four months, your car might have been repossessed. You need to check with your local tow company," he says.

If none of those is the case, Officer Mike says you should call the police immediately.

"The key to getting your car back is knowing your license plate number. The majority of people don't," he adds. "The sooner the officer gets the license plate number, the sooner he can enter it into the stolen vehicle system in the computer. We actually have a new system called automated license plate recognition, where cameras on police cars can pick up your license plate as vehicles drive by and hopefully locate your car within minutes."

You should also tell police anything about your car that sets it apart from everyone else's -- a bumper sticker, a broken windshield or maybe a door that's mismatched.

Then you want to wait for an officer to arrive on scene so they can take a written report. Also, they want to check the area for any evidence that might have been left behind. Surveillance cameras these days capture a lot of things on video, so you might actually capture the suspect taking your car.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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