How to File a Police Report for Stolen Property

How to File a Police Report for Stolen Property

When someone steals your possessions, of course, you hope for justice. However in many cases, stolen property is never recovered, and the perpetrators are never arrested for the actions they committed. One of the main reasons for this is because, most likely the victim did not fill out a police report regarding stolen property or you did not fill it in in detail and accurately, thereby reducing the chances of your stolen property being found.

Following these tips may help you increase your chances of recovering stolen property and catching the thief.

Immediate Action

Taking immediate action when you know items have been stolen can make a huge difference, giving you a good chance of recovering the stolen items and catching the thief. The method is quite simple, as a victim of theft only need to contact the nearest police station as quickly as you can, and give them as much detail about the stolen items as possible, such as the following:

    • What was stolen
    • When was the item stolen
    • How the item was stolen
    • Who is the person suspected of stealing the item?

You as the victim must also have the name of the officer handling your case, to make it easier for you to know the progress of the case you are experiencing.

Provide Photographs

Photos of stolen items can help the police in finding the stolen items. You must provide as much information as possible so that the police investigation can proceed much more easily.

Apart from that, you as the reporter must also ask for the case number, so that it can be easier for you to carry out follow-up actions related to the case you are currently experiencing, to the relevant legal institutions. This can help ensure the case is handled well, as well as save time in communicating with the relevant officers in the future.

Get a Copy of the Police Report

As a reporter, you must also get a copy of the police report that you made. This is useful for helping you find out the details of the report you are making, so that the level of accuracy in the report is correct and guaranteed, as well as ensuring that there is no important information that is not recorded in the report being made. This is also useful to find out whether there were errors in making the report or not.

Periodic Follow-up

Law enforcement agencies must carry out checks on all reports that have been received. However, cases related to stolen goods can sometimes be overlooked by them. For this reason, it is very important for you as a reporter to carry out regular follow-up, so that the case you report can be handled. You can ask the officers about the progress of the case, and whether they have found evidence related to the case you reported or not.

Making a police report regarding stolen property is an initial step so that you can get back the items that have been stolen from you. However, of course, you as the reporter must also cooperate, by providing detailed information about the items that have been stolen from you, so that it will be much easier to get back your lost or stolen items.

How to Get a Copy of the Police Report?

These are some tips that you can follow if you want to make a report to law enforcement agencies regarding stolen property that you have experienced. By following the tips above, it will be much easier to recover stolen items and catch the main perpetrators.

The next thing you need to know is how to obtain a copy of the police report that you have made. As we explained previously, a copy of this report is useful for knowing the details of the report that you previously made.

Requesting a Police Report

You need to know first that the process for obtaining a copy of a police report can differ between jurisdictions and institutions. As we know, a police report is a document originating from the government, and as such it is part of a public record.

However, you should know that this means anyone can come directly to the police station and then ask for a copy of the police report. For your information, the procedure for obtaining a copy of a police report is attached to the law and is usually contained in freedom of information laws. Usually, in several cases, crime victims and people involved in traffic accidents are allowed to request a copy of the police report, by identifying themselves first.

Several jurisdictions will indeed allow lawyers to obtain a copy of the police report on behalf of their client. However, you need to know that those who are not directly involved in the traffic accident or theft incident, may have to submit a written request first to be on public record.

Usually, almost all police departments will offer you the option to request and receive a report directly. In some jurisdictions, a copy of the police report itself can be ordered online, and you can even request a copy of the report over the phone.

The police report itself is usually kept at the police station. The report will usually be created over several days to several weeks before the report is finally transferred to a central archive location. The costs involved in getting a copy of the police report as soon as the report is made are usually very reasonable. However, you need to know that the costs tend to increase significantly after the report is sent to the central recording facility.

That is how you can get a copy of the police report that you previously made. By doing this, it will be much easier for you to follow up regularly and find out the progress of the case you are facing.

How to Retrieve Your Lost Property Legally

Unfortunately, to this day we still often see and find cases of theft where someone who is highly trusted takes property from another person. If you are currently dealing with this kind of problem, and find that your items are missing and the person who stole them does not want to return them, we will tell you how to legally retrieve your stolen items.

1. Make a List of Items Taken

The first and most important step you should take when someone may have stolen your items is to save all available evidence of the incident. This evidence will be very useful if you want to make a report to the police station when you want to file an insurance claim or to sue in court later.

It is highly recommended that you make a list of the items that were taken or have been lost, and then provide as many specific details as possible about the lost property. Apart from that, maybe you can consider collecting other evidence such as receipts and bank statements which will help you to prove that the item is yours, especially when the person who is known to have taken your item states that the item is not yours.

2. If Someone Refuses to Return Your Property, Is It Theft?

In general, theft is a criminal activity that requires taking property belonging to another person, to take the item and possess it permanently.

The following are some factors you need to consider when you accuse someone of theft:

    • When you accuse someone of theft, make sure you can show that you are the person who legally owns the item and clearly state that you want the property back to you. However, the person who owns your item is currently reluctant to return the item to you.
    • Theft can also occur if someone may have taken property that you own fraudulently by making a promise that they did not intend to keep in the first place. For example, say you have a boyfriend or close friend, and they borrow the car you own, to travel for a few days. However, the reality is, that your boyfriend never had any intention of returning your car and wanted to own it permanently. This has been categorized as theft because it was based on your boyfriend’s intention, and his desire to obtain your personal property by force.
    • If you feel that someone may have taken property that you own, as we explained above, you can report it to the police. The police may later be able to assist in the investigation and help you to recover and reclaim your property.

3. File a Police Report

Once you are certain that the property you own has been stolen, you may want to consider making or filing a police report. This can be a very important step if you later need to file an insurance claim or file a lawsuit against the person who took the property you own, as this can help you gather evidence.

In general, you only need to file a report at the nearest police station to the place where your property has been stolen. The following are some steps you must take:

    • Calling a non-emergency telephone line,
    • Confirm the process of reporting property that has been stolen. Later, the police will come to your location and you can provide detailed information about the items that have been stolen, and
    • Also, confirm that the police do have jurisdiction over the address and place where your property was stolen.

4. Request Civil Standby

Unfortunately, the police are often unable to take criminal action against people who have taken items that belong to you (because they usually don’t always consider that the property you own has been stolen or maybe they don’t usually have enough resources to carry out further investigations ).

If the police later believe that your situation is a civil matter (or they prefer to call it a civil matter), you can then request a civil alert:

    • The civil standby itself usually consists of a sheriff or even a police officer who will later accompany you to take back the property that has been stolen from you.
    • The role of the police in this situation is to help “keep the peace” when you later try to take back property that belongs to you personally.
    • This civil vigilance may be especially useful if you have also anticipated whether the encounter will be dangerous or violent.

You also need to know that not all police stations have civil standby as an option.

5. Request Your Property Back by Sending a Letter of Demand

Before you want to file a lawsuit against the person who stole your property, you can first request the return of your property by using a demand letter. For example, if you have lent a car to your friend or girlfriend, and it turns out that he refuses or fails to return it, then you can write a letter of request which in the letter asks your friend or girlfriend to return the car or even give you a compensation equal to the value of the car you own.

Here are two reasons why you won’t have to send a request letter first:

    • When you have sent this request letter, you will be taken more seriously by the other parties concerned.
    • You can also later include a copy of this request letter as part of the evidence to show the judge that you have given the other party the opportunity to return the property that legally belongs to you before taking the matter to court.

These are the things you need to know if you find that someone has stolen your lost items and how you can fill out a police report correctly, as well as how you can take back stolen property legally and safely. By doing everything well, there will be a big possibility that your stolen property will return safely to you, as the legal owner.

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