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Problems Getting Stolen Car Police Report

Discussion in 'Criminal Procedure, Criminal Court' started by Car Theft Victim, Aug 13, 2021.

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  1. Car Theft Victim

    Car Theft Victim Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    My car was stolen and I reported the theft to the police. About a week after the theft the car was involved in a police chase. The police told me nothing about this. I learned about it from a friend who told me information about my car was posted to a facebook group that monitors the local police radio frequencies.

    The police had to give up the chase because the thief was running red lights. One of the thieves jumped out of the car and they captured him but let him go. He gave up the name of the thief driving the car who has a history with the local police.

    Regarding the chase, an incident report is on file. I spoke with a police officer before requesting the report. He said they know who the thief is but wouldn't tell me. He also said I could get the report but it might be redacted.

    The next day I went to the police station to get the report but the clerk there told me it would be mostly worthless as they would redact nearly everything, including the names of the thieves. The clerk told me if I wanted the report unredacted I would have to sue the police.

    Can that be correct? It’s my car. Don’t I have the right to know who is riding in it and who is driving it? I can’t believe I would have to spend thousands of dollars on a lawsuit to find out something I should have every right to know.

    I don’t know what to do next and would greatly appreciate any information on how I should go about trying to get the report. This occurred in California. Thank you
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2021
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    As I said on the other forum that you posted this to: You know exactly how to get a copy of the police report. Ask for it.
     
  3. Car Theft Victim

    Car Theft Victim Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am trying to find out how to get the report unredacted.
     
  4. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    And the answer is to wait until the investigation is completed.
     
  5. Car Theft Victim

    Car Theft Victim Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I don't believe there is any investigation.
     
  6. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Why haven't you turned this matter over to your insurance company?
     
  7. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    There is always an investigation. Once it is done the prosecutor will take over the case.
     
  8. Car Theft Victim

    Car Theft Victim Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I informed the insurance company of the theft the day it occurred. Also, informed the police the day the theft occurred.
     
  9. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Then why do you need a copy of the police report? The insurance company will handle the matter.
     
  10. Car Theft Victim

    Car Theft Victim Law Topic Starter New Member

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    As I mentioned I spoke to a police officer before I tried to get the report and he didn't mention there was any investigation.

    Here, all they do for stolen vehicles is to enter the information into a database so the car will come up stolen if they run the plate or VIN. They also put the vehicle description on a "hot sheet" that they give to the beat officers. Outside of that, they do nothing unless it's part of a larger crime like an assault or homicide. In that case there would be an investigation.
     
  11. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    How are you so intimately familiar with the operations and investigations of the police department?

    Or, you know, felony evading...
     
  12. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Just to clarify, you're talking about getting the police report relating to the car chase. Right? You already have a copy of the report that you made concerning the theft. Right?

    Yes.

    No. Of what possible use might that be to you? Sure, once your insurance claim is paid, you'll still be out your comprehensive deductible and could, in theory, sue the thief in small claims court. However, I think you know as well as I that you would have virtually zero chance of ever collecting on a judgment.

    Wait for your insurer to send you a check for the car's value (less your deductible). What is the status of your insurance claim?

    There most certainly is not always an investigation and, even if it is, the end of the investigation does not necessarily result in the prosecutor doing anything.
     
  13. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    One thing I would like to add is that the OP can request that restitution be ordered if the guy is caught, charged and convicted. It's not unreasonable to keep track of this, although I suspect that, at this early stage, the OP wasn't really thinking of that aspect.

    (Boy, this cross-forum copying/pasting is fun)
     
    zddoodah and justblue like this.

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