With millions of vehicles exchanging hands everyday, the automobile industry has become a lucrative one. It has invited lots of investors, stakeholders and sadly, criminals. A recent report showed that there has been over 5,000 cases of stolen vehicles in Nigeria in the last 5 years. That's a huge number. These cars get stolen from their garages, from dealerships, on the road while the driver is traveling or at gun point when parked. But whatever the case, it's always important to know what to do to get your vehicle back if you fall victim.
At Naijauto, your safety is priority. Therefore we have gotten our auto experts to give a comprehensive breakdown on how to track your stolen car without much hassle.
More than five thousand car theft cases have been reported in Nigeria in the last 5 years
1. Report the case immediately
Once you notice your car has been stolen, head straight to the police station and file a report. Usually they ask you some common questions as below:
- Your ID card/ driving license
- Your car number plate
- Your car make, model, year & color
- Where you last saw your car
- Any suspect related to the case
- Tracking device on your car if have
Ensure you are as accurate and detailed as possible. It's understandable if you're in panic and can't totally recall everything at the time, but you can also come back when you're a bit calmer to update your report. But keep in mind that time waits for no one. You won't want to spend a week reminiscing about how your car was stolen when the vehicle might have crossed the seme border to another nearby country.
So endeavour to report and update your complaint immediately you have more relevant information. Just to add, this is why it's always important to keep the photocopy of your car documents in the car while the original stays at home. This way you still information on model, brand, color, chassis number, engine number, vehicle identification number and licence plate number.
>>> Do you know we can check car owner just by its number plate? Read How to check car number plate owner in Nigeria
2. Reach out to your car insurance service provider
Many Nigerian car owners just get car insurance because the law stipulates it, without actually finding out what the insurance is all about. When your car is damaged or stolen in this case, this is where they come in. Some companies give you an option of either helping look for the vehicle, providing an alternative car for you to use for the time being and so on. Endeavour to provide them with every necessary info that they may need - just as you did with the police.
3. Ask around and let people know the situation
A problem shared is half solved. That saying fits into this situation perfectly. You can make announcements on your social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp. This way, when people see someone else driving a car they normally see you with or come across a vehicle that fits the description you gave, they can help you track your stolen car. You can also talk to commercial vehicle drivers in your community and car parks around your city. These drivers are on the road almost all day. So they can easily notify you when they drive past a car like yours.
People nearby can give you precious information about the suspect
Finally, talk to car dealerships. 90% of the time, stolen vehicles are sold to car dealers at rock bottom prices. But when these dealers come across such cheap cars and see it fits the description of yours, they won't want to get involved with stolen vehicle cases with the police. They'll definitely contact you.
>>> Check to see if your car model is listed here: Report of 5 most stolen cars and 5 least stolen cars in 2018
4. Detect your stolen car
You should have every detail about your car so you can easily detect it when you see one that looks similar.
First of all, check the vehicle identification number (VIN). This number is usually written somewhere close to the engine, the windscreen, a part of the car, dashboard and so on. So you can just walk close to the vehicle and cross check with your own number to see if it matches. Asides the number, you can check the licence plates.
Every car has a unique licence plate number. If the thief hasn't removed the plate number then you might be lucky. You can also check your tyre expiration dates. Many people don't think of this but thieves hardly think of changing tyres too. So if your identification number or plate number have been scraped or removed, you can use the tyre dates. When the drover comes to the vehicle, you can now check for chassis number amongst other unique features.
5. Find the vehicle using a tracker
If you're lucky to have had a tracker installed in your vehicle, this will go a long way in helping you locate it when stolen. Some new models of cars come with trackers already installed, and you can even sync tje navigation system of your car with your phone. So get a tech person or someone from the police tech team to help you track your stolen car.
Lastly, in as much as we would advice you on how to track your stolen vehicle we also would tell you to endeavour to keep your vehicle safe. Always lock the doors when you're in or out of the vehicle. Carry out routine maintenance. Install a tracker on the car. Do not drive alone on lonely roads. Follow these tips and you'll be just fine.
>>> Read more about whats happening on Nigerian roads and around the world right here on Naijauto.com!