Motor vehicle theft


Motor vehicle theft is the criminal act of stealing or attempting to steal a motor vehicle.  The police department and media occasionally refer to it as grand theft auto.  Stealing of an automobile, truck, bus, motorcycle, snowmobile, trailer or any other motorized vehicle constitute motor vehicle theft.

Motor vehicle theft can be done by various methods.  Some of the methods are:

  • An unattended vehicle may be stolen without keys by breaking the parked vehicle followed by hotwiring or other tampering methods to start the vehicle.
  • Theft may also be done by unauthorized use of a vehicle.  In such a case, the driver may have possession or easy access to the keys and the driver may use the vehicle for purposes other than the ones authorized by the owner.
  • Theft can be done by removal of a vehicle that the owner has left unattended with the keys visibly present.
  • In another method of theft the vehicle is taken by force from its owner.
  • Theft is also done fraudulently, in this the vehicle is illegally acquired from the seller by fraudulently transferring the funds that the seller wont receive.

Chances of motor vehicle theft may be reduced by exercising proper care in handling vehicles.  Always ensure that you carry vehicle keys with you.  Theft can also be reduced by using car alarm which gives warning as to the breaking of the vehicle.

Police departments use various methods to recover stolen vehicles.  Random checks of vehicles along the parking lot and vehicle tracking systems such as LoJack, Automatic vehicle location, or Onstar enable to find the location of the vehicle.  They also use other security devices such as DotGuard microdots that identify individual parts of a vehicle.