Buying a car is a dream most people have. Hence having your car or vehicle stolen can be a difficult thing to go through. That said, all hope isn’t lost. And chances are that you will be able to find and retrieve your vehicle safely. If you or your loved one has recently lost their vehicle or car, here are a few things you can start with because all hope isn’t lost. Your car can still be found and retrieved.
Car and Vehicle-Related Crimes in Ghana Are on the Rise
Car hijacks have been on the rise and it is just right to keep safe and take care of your vehicular property. In a novel report, the Ghana Statistical Service found that car theft and related crimes ranked highest among crimes committed in the year 2009. A whopping 67% of respondents reported car hijacking and 44% reported motor theft.
This report may be old but it is still quite reflective of what is on the ground considering the constant media reports of car thefts and vehicle hijacks. It’s therefore imperative to take good measures to keep your car and properties safe.
But what do you do if you have fallen victim of any of these crimes? Such as car theft or having your motorbike stolen? These tips aren’t necessarily for car owners only but vehicle owners in Ghana. Let’s get into it…
5 Really Simple Things to Do If Your Car Is Stolen
- Make Sure Your Car is Actually Stolen
Concluding that your vehicle has been stolen may be arrived at too quickly. Yes, you need to act fast but you also need to be cocksure or at least run out of alternative scenarios for not finding your car.
If you left it in a car park, make sure you are not at a different location before pulling the red buttons announcing to everyone that your car is stolen. It may have simply been parked at another side. Call key persons who may be able to give answers.
Be sure to check for “No Parking” signs your car may have been moved due to wrong parking.
- Report to the Police
The next step. Once it is confirmed or at least the likelihood of your car being stolen is high, call the police immediately. Do a follow up at the nearest police station to file a stolen vehicle report. This is absolutely necessary and may help you to find and retrieve your vehicle. The police have a network of investigators who can help. Another good reason to report to the police is to obtain the needed documents to file your insurance claims.
No insurance company will consider claims without due proof that indeed the vehicle has been stolen. And that you are eligible to collect your benefits. 83.8% of car theft victims report to the National Police while 66.7% report car hijacking. Most of whom reported to enable them to claim benefits from insurance companies.
Know that time is of the essence here. So you need to move between the various things you need to do quickly.
- Check Security Cameras Around
If your vehicle or car is stolen, you will be able to ascertain the fact through a video. You may not necessarily see the perpetrator since they are often careful of cameras. But who knows, you may be lucky to have the identity of the perpetrator in a matter of minutes.
- Report to Your Insurance Company; Secure the Necessary Police Documents
The first question you might ask is, what if I don’t have insurance? The Motor Vehicles (Third Party Insurance) act, 1958, stipulates that all vehicles must be insured. For this reason, police officers will often require an insurance sticker on your vehicle.
Having insurance is particularly good when you find yourself in a situation of a stolen or hijacked car. You will need a police report to back your claims and make you eligible to claim your benefits.
There are various requirements to make your claim depending on the company insuring your vehicle. Generally, you would need details about the theft such as time, place, people who might hold information about the vehicle. Other information such as vehicle identification number and other relevant information are also needed.
- Track Your Car
Chances of retrieving your vehicle are higher if you can get a head start. Your search for your vehicle should commence immediately especially when you can track real-time movements of the vehicle. It is a good idea to have a car tracker installed before the incident. Some car trackers have the function of stopping the engine remotely or slowing the vehicle down. This information and functionality give the police a good starting point to conduct their search and investigations.
How Can the Police Help Find and Retrieve Your Car?
The police have their investigative procedures and are sometimes able to find and retrieve stolen vehicles. Try your best to be cooperative and provide details to help them with their investigations.
Check and be sure you aren’t mistaken to prevent any embarrassment as already pointed out. Perhaps a relative decided to borrow it without your notice.
Proceed afterwards to call the police. Be sure to do a follow up at the nearest station to file a stolen vehicle report. Ask for the various documents you would need especially if you have insurance.
International and Local Organizations Can Help
The police have a wide network and they often prove helpful with investigating and finding lost properties. Most hijacks and thefts are either sold in parts or sold in different locations. This makes it difficult to track them on your own. The police personnel have more experience.
International databases for stolen vehicles are also a way the police can help. Reported vehicles are logged into various local and international database systems. This enables other organizations to help to search for your vehicle.
That said, do your best to not find yourself in the situation in the first place. Next is a list of some common scams in Ghana.
We hope these tips will be beneficial to your search and retrieval of your vehicle. Follow all the tips since it doesn’t take much from you than you stand to gain. If you are simply reading but haven’t lost your vehicle, follow the guidelines and suggestions to prevent being a victim.