After a Theft: Quick Tips from Police Officers

Here are some tips for dealing with home and car theft, gathered from police officers across the country:

  1. Stolen Car? Talk Cracks and Dents
    When reporting a stolen car, be sure to mention your car’s unique characteristics – location of dents, cracks, bumper stickers, detailing and so on. These details help your car stand out from all the others.
  2. Car Break-Ins - Stop Temptation!
    Car break-ins are crimes of opportunity. Reduce the chance – close and lock all windows and doors, don’t leave your keys in the car, remove all valuables from sight.
  3. After Burglary? Write It Down!
    After a burglary, take the time and make a list of what is missing. For instance, thieves might take food from the fridge or even medicines from the medicine cabinet. While this might seem trivial, this information could help the police spot a burglary trend.
  4. Life Is Not Like CSI
    Understand that the police may not be able to find forensic evidence like the kind often seen on a TV show, such as DNA, fingerprints, a clump of dirt and so on. The police will do the best they can with the evidence and time at hand.
  5. Car Crash - Call the Police
    If you are involved in a car accident, call the police before moving your car or leaving the scene, even if there are no injuries. State and county laws vary so check with your local officials.

    Updated: 5/2009