Motor vehicle theft is a widespread crime in the United States, with hundreds of thousands stolen every year. If your car is stolen in Phoenix, Arizona, here’s what you should do.

Contact the Police Immediately

If your car is stolen in Phoenix, contact the police immediately (Crime Stop at 602-262-6151 and have a patrol officer take a stolen vehicle report. If you catch somebody tampering with or stealing your vehicle, use extreme caution and don’t approach them.

Call Your Insurance Company

Once you have a police case number, contact your car insurance company and let them know what happened, providing them with the details you shared in the police report. Your insurance company will also want a copy of the police report to back your insurance claim. In addition, put together a list and description of anything of value in your vehicle and submit it as well.

File Paperwork

Paperwork that may need to be filed if a car is stolen in Phoenix includes the following (dependent on the situation).

  • Stolen Vehicle Agreement and Affidavit: Arizona requires that the person claiming the theft validate that fact by filling out and signing a Stolen Vehicle agreement and affidavit, which needs to be notarized if not signed with a police officer present.
  • Auto Theft Reporting Packet: The Phoenix Police Department’s Auto Theft Detail uses a reporting packet system to note vehicles as stolen if they are rentals that haven’t been returned 72 hours following the due date/time.
  • Failure to Return Rental Vehicle: This pertains to rental car companies, not person-to-person rentals. If an individual agrees to rent or lease a vehicle for a specified period of time and doesn’t return it at the end of the lease, they may be subject to civil and criminal liability. Failing to return a rental car is a shockingly common crime, so rental car companies can be harsh in terms of criminal prosecution.
  • Businesses with a Security Interest: This is used to report cases where businesses have a security interest in a car, and the person that is supposed to make the payments falls behind by 90 days.

Once the appropriate packet has been turned in, it’s reviewed, and a report is created that lists the vehicle as stolen.

NOTE:  A security interest is an enforceable lien or legal claim on collateral that’s been pledged, typically to obtain a loan from loan companies or car dealerships. The person borrowing provides the loan provider with a security interest in specific assets, giving the lender the authority to repossess part or all of the property when the borrower stops making the loan payments. This packet is not for person-to-person car sales.

The Security Interest packet mentioned above shouldn’t be filled out under the following circumstances:

  • If the car was stolen from your lot (not sold or rented)
  • If you’re a private party (not a company)
  • If the suspect used stolen credit cards, forged checks, or identity theft to obtain the car

In these cases, call Crime Stop at (602) 262-6151 and have a patrol officer take a stolen vehicle report.

Be Prepared

Be prepared to provide the police department and insurance company with the vehicle’s license plate, VIN, make, model, year, and color. In addition, contact Crime Stop, etc., and let them know if there’s a GPS tracking system in your car. Have additional questions? Call the Phoenix Auto Theft Detail at 602 262-6674.

Contact us today if you’ve recovered your car from car theft in Arizona and want it checked out to make sure it’s in great shape.

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