Finding a stolen car can either be an angry, unorganized witch-hunt whereby the victim burns up a tank of gas hunting down the thugs that robbed him, or an organized effort whereby law enforcement, technology and psychology work together to bring the vehicle back unharmed. If your car is stolen, react in an organized manner to get it back before it ends up in a chop shop or crime-related accident.
1. Call the police immediately to report the crime. If you tend to get flustered in an emergency, have a rational person there to help you answer questions. They’ll want to know the vehicle’s make, model and year as well as your identifying information. This way, they can look up the registration to get the vehicle’s identification number.
2. Call (888) 4-OnStar if your vehicle has been equipped with the OnStar system. This is a global positioning satellite that helps pinpoint the precise location of your vehicle so that law enforcement agents can drive out and meet the car wherever it’s at, even if it’s in motion.
3. Relax if you’ve got LoJack, because as soon as the police enter the VIN number into the stolen car database, the LoJack system will activate and your car will send a low frequency radio wave that police can tap into in order to find your vehicle. Since Lojack uses radio waves instead of GPS, it can be tracked in areas that aren’t in view of the satellite, like heavily wooded areas, under parking garages as well as in canyons.
4. Take a leisurely drive through hotel and airport parking lots. These are popular dumping ground for car thieves because people are used to seeing parked cars unattended there for a long time. Residential cul-de-sacs are also places where car thieves tend to leave vehicles after they’re done using them.