What Do I Do After My Car Has Been Stolen?
Have you ever experienced that “Moo gbe” (I’m finished) moment when your car gets stolen? I haven’t, and heaven knows I don’t want to experience that. But I can bet a few of our readers have had their cars stolen. There are many stories of stolen cars, in some cases, the person just bought the car, and the “real owners” (thieves) came to collect it.
The “Real owners” might collect your car at gunpoint, or break the locks, tamper with some wires and, vroom, car is gone (Yes, we have all seen gone in 60 seconds). In the event that your car got stolen either at gun point or was forced open, what would be your reaction? I asked a few of my colleagues, and the funniest responses were; 1) I would laugh out hysterically, then begin to cry and 2) I would analyse how I drove the car there, probably walk back to where I was coming from and retrace my steps. They sound funny, but honestly, from the experiences of people who have had their cars stolen, you might do some of the most foolish things the moment your car was stolen. So, what should you do in the event that your car gets stolen?
- Keep Calm – This might be really hard, but trust me, it’s not the time to be all hysterical, or searching the gutters for your car. Ensure your car is actually stolen. If you parked your car in a large parking lot, you might have forgotten where you actually parked. Also, maybe it was towed? Observe your environment and identify if you parked in an illegal parking space.
- Report it to the Police/Authorities – Now, you are sure your car is stolen, it’s time to identify the nearest police station close to where you are. Alternatively, in Nigeria, we have numbers we can call to report such incidences. Not really effective, but you have to try everything you can to ensure you are reunited with your car.
- Talk to People – Ask people around if they saw anything. Maybe some individuals were looking at the car in a suspicious way, or were mishandling the car. Also, in this age of social media, send the Broadcast message (I guess we are allowed to send one broadcast a month? Those things are annoying. Hehe). Let your blackberry messenger friends, Twitter followers, snapchat friends, instagram followers and other social media platforms you are on aware of the situation. You may never know, someone might have seen your car in Kaduna state.
- Think of a Replacement – All hope is not lost, but there is a high probability that your car might not be found. At this point, you are allowed to yell and scream and freak out. You have kept your cool for some time, so you deserve it. If you can afford a replacement immediately, do that, and avoid a situation where your car might be vulnerable. If you cannot afford a replacement immediately, you might need to borrow your mum’s car from time to time, or hop on the danfos and molues (Public transport). Yes, that is the reality.
- Learn from it – Now that your car was stolen, what do you think you could have done differently to avoid the theft? Even if you recovered your car, you should endeavour to avoid a theft occurring again. Now, ask yourself a few questions; were your doors unlocked, or did you attract the thieves by leaving valuables in plain sight? Remember to lock your doors at all times, do not leave your engine running when you are not beside your car, or leave the spare keys of your car hidden somewhere inside your car. Also, have vehicle insurance, and be technologically savvy. Nobody wants their car to get stolen, and it might not get stolen, but installing a GPS tracker would help tremendously in recovering a vehicle in the event that it was stolen. Also, there are security systems which cause the car to run slower, eventually bringing the car to a halt. By learning from it, you can also lecture other people, so that immediately they have they sense or find out that their car is stolen, they will be able to react to it in good enough time in order to find it.
Source: The Road Bloggers