Someone Stole (or Broke into) Your Car — Now What?

Say you drive to a restaurant to meet some friends for dinner. After you have your meal and pay the check, you walk outside to where you parked your car. The problem is, your car isn’t where you left it. Was it stolen? After a few deep breaths, take a look at our suggestions of what to do if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.

1. Make Sure It’s Really Gone

Are you on the right street? Are you sure you’re checking the right parking spot? It may sound silly, but before you jump to the worst conclusion, it’s worth checking to make sure you’re in the right spot.

2. Find Out if It Was Towed

Did you park in a no-parking zone? Do you have outstanding parking tickets or other issues with your vehicle? Before you assume it was theft, make sure there isn’t a reason your car would have been towed.

3. Call the Police

Call the police to report your vehicle stolen. Wait for the officers in a safe place. When they arrive, they’ll ask you questions and file a report. Filing a police report will help facilitate your insurance claim for the theft. That leads us to our next step.

4. Call Your Insurance Company

Call your insurance agency after you file the police report. Find out the process for reporting your car stolen and receiving compensation for the loss.

What to Do if Someone Breaks into Your Car

If you return to find your vehicle was broken into, don’t attempt to move it. Similarly to if your car was stolen, you should call the police to file a report. Then call your insurance company. In any case, you should always find a safe location to call and wait for the police.

How to Protect Your Car from Burglary or Theft

Having your car stolen or broken into is an expensive and stressful experience. Avoid it by taking a few precautionary measures.

1. Don’t leave valuable items in your car, especially in plain view.
2. Always lock your car and leave the windows rolled up.
3. Park in an area where a lot of people pass through.

Have you ever had your car stolen? What did you do? Let us know in the comments.