Whitney Russell
No Comments

What to Do If Your Car Gets Broken Into

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page
broken glass car broken into
Know how to respond to a car break-in so you’ll feel calmer and more prepared if you’re ever the victim of one
Photo: Photo by Wonderlane

Dealing with a car break-in can be stressful. Here are five things you should do in the event a thief breaks into your vehicle.

Peace of Mind: Schedule a service appointment for safer travels this spring

Take pictures and list stolen items

camera lens
Make sure to document the damages after a car break-in
Photo: Pixabay

With any break-in, it’s important to document damages with photographic evidence. You’ll also want to write down which items got stolen from your vehicle. This is for the police report as well as the insurance claim (if you file one). The Balance suggests keeping a disposable camera in your car in case your smartphone gets stolen.

Call the police

Next, call local law enforcement to file a police report. Typically, they’ll send an officer to your vehicle’s location, so avoid moving it. Though, in some cases, you might have to go to the police station to file the report in person. To file a police report, you’ll need to have pictures of the damages and a list of the objects stolen, as well as the following items: vehicle registration, and car insurance ID card, and driver’s license.

Contact your bank and credit card carriers

Girl texting on cell phone
Keep calm and call your financial institutions, in the event your credit cards got stolen
Photo: Eneida Nieves

If your wallet got stolen, call your bank and credit card carriers to freeze your accounts. This will prevent identity theft in the event that the thief has your ATM or credit cards in their possession.

Call a credit bureau to place a fraud alert on your credit report

If you kept any documents with your address and birthdate on them in your car and they’re missing after the break-in, call one of the following three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax. They can place a 90-day fraud alert on your credit record to prevent the thief from opening a line of credit under your name and racking up debts.

Repair your car

Depending on what type of insurance you have, it’s common to file an insurance claim to help cover the expense of car repairs. Per Nerd Wallet, if you have comprehensive coverage on your car insurance policy, the carrier will reimburse you for repair costs. For stolen belongings, however, you should file a claim with your homeowners or renters insurance. They’ll typically cover any object stolen from the vehicle as long as it’s not permanently attached to your vehicle (e.g. a stereo system).

Repair Made Easy: Order new parts for your Chevy here