How To Report A Stolen Motorcycle? [A Complete Guide]

How To Report A Stolen Motorcycle

Reporting the stolen motorcycle is one of the crucial things if someone wants to get back their motorcycle. But due to panicking, someone may not do things properly or forget to report the theft. The result of this can be losing the motorcycle forever.

I have been a bike enthusiast for a while. Like many others, I also got my bike stolen two times. So, I know exactly how to report a stolen motorcycle. Reporting the theft to the police is not the only thing. You also have to keep an eye on the local reselling market and inform your insurers.

So, without wasting any more time, let’s see how to report your motorcycle ideally and do all the other things you need to do.

3 Easy Ways To Report Stolen Motorcycle: Quick Steps

As I already mentioned, reporting to the police is not the only thing you need to do. You also have to report to the insurance provider and observe the local pawn shops. This section will show you how to do these things properly.

1. Report To The Police:

As soon as you discover your motorcycle is missing, report it to the police. Even if you have a GPS tracker installed on your bike, this should be done because the tracking system may not accurately locate your bike in time to recover it. 

If you have a tracker installed, ensure that you have reported the theft to the police before tracking your bike. You can report to the police by calling 911 or (in some areas) dialing 311. You can also file a report online with your local police department or sheriff’s office if it offers that option. 

If you know where your motorcycle is being kept illegally and have evidence of this location, contact the police as soon as possible so they can get there before it leaves. The police will usually ask for:

  • Your name and address;
  • The make and model of your motorcycle;
  • The vehicle identification number (VIN) and the license plate;
  • Details about any distinguishing features on your bike (e.g., custom paint job);
  • When and where did you park your motorcycle last time you used it;
  • A description of the person who stole it (if they were wearing a helmet, what they looked like). 

After reporting the theft to the police, keep the document of the report to yourself. Although the chance of getting your motorcycle back after a theft is pretty low, the report’s record comes in handy in certain situations. 

For example, when you find your motorcycle in a local second-hand market and intend to recover it, you need the document. 

2. Inform Your Insurance Provider:

You should file a theft claim with your auto insurer as soon as possible after discovering that your vehicle has been stolen. Keep in mind that motorcycle policies are different from auto policies. A motorcycle policy usually covers only damage to the bike itself.

But not medical expenses or other losses resulting from an accident caused by a stolen motorcycle. Your auto policy might cover some of these losses if you were injured in an accident caused by someone else driving a stolen motorcycle.

The reason to inform your insurer is that sometimes the insurance policies may cover theft incidents. Other causes include letting them know that you do not have a motorcycle.

In the meantime, nobody can hold you or your insurer for any further actions if you report the incident to your insurer. Thus, reporting the incident to your insurer helps increase the safety of both you and the insurer against legal actions.

You should be easily able to report your insurer or insurance company with the phone number they have given you. You can also report the incident online (primarily via an app if your insurance company has one).

3. Inform The Local Pawn Shops:

Just like reporting to the police or informing your insurer, you should also visit each pawn shop in your area that deals in used bikes. You can do this by phone or by dropping in during business hours. 

If you have a license plate number and make, model, and year of the motorcycle, carry the information with you. You will need it later. Show them pictures of your bike and ask if they’ve recently seen anything similar come through their doors. 

Be sure to write down their contact information if they give you the desired information. Do it to get back in touch with them later if necessary. Pawnshops, second-hand shops, or one of the most go places for motorcycle thieves. 

They may either sell the whole motorcycle to the shops or the scrapped parts of your bike. If they sell scraps, there are practically no chances that you can catch the thieves. But if the entire motorcycle is on sale, count yourself lucky. 

It is equally necessary to inform and check out the local pawn shops for the above reason. Another pro tip is not to confront the second-hand seller if you find your motorcycle. 

Take help from the police to recover your bike. In this way, you will be able to avoid violence and get the recovery done smoothly.

6 Things You Should Immediately Do After The Stealing Of Your Bike

Knowing about the theft of your bike is never a pleasant experience. The bike may be the most remarkable thing of yours. The post theft actions should be quick and precise to recover your bike. Here are the five things that you should do immediately after knowing about the incident of theft of your bike:

1. Confirm The Theft:

Confirming the theft is necessary because sometimes your friends may prank you. Or, your partner may take your bike for a ride with the duplicate keys. 

In the worst-case scenario, your bike may fall into the side of the road and possibly drag to another location. After you are assured of the mentioned facts, proceed with the after-theft actions.

2. Report To The Police:

After you are sure that your bike has been stolen, report the incident to the police. Don’t take the reporting lightly, as the chance of getting your bike back in the first few hours is always high. 

Report to the police with necessary information like your VIN and license plate number, your name and address, and the make and model year of your bike.

3. Let Your Insurer Know:

After reporting the theft incident to the police, report the incident to your insurer. Even if the insurance policy does not cover the theft of your bike, you should say it. The main reason to do so is to let them know that the bike is no longer in your possession.

4. Register Your Motorcycle:

Yeah, I know what you are thinking. Registering your bike is one of the crucial things you should do after purchasing the bike. But you can also register a bike with appropriate information after a theft. 

Your bike registration number is available online and will help make your case a strong one. The police can also take swift action if your motorcycle is registered. You should do the registration if you have not done it yet.

 5. Check For Local Selling Ads:

The most common aftermath of bike theft is that the thief will post an online ad to sell it. Keeping anonymity is relatively more straightforward online than offline. That is why it is a favorite place for thieves. Take regular updates on the local-based online marketplace like eBay (or other online marketplaces in your area).

6. Observe The Local Pawn Shops:

Continue the search, although there is very little chance of finding your bike in one piece in a local pawn shop. The pawnshops don’t buy stolen bikes or motorcycles for their safety. However, you never know where you can get lucky.

Also read: Which Lock Is Best For The Motorcycle?

4 Mistakes You Should Avoid While Reporting Stolen Bike To The Police

You should always hurry and take action to recover your stolen bike. However, doing something wrong also makes it harder to recover your bike. The following are the four mistakes that you should avoid while reporting a stolen bike:

1. Do Not Provide Wrong Information:

Always try to give the correct information to the police. Providing inaccurate information to the police officer is wrong for two reasons. First, you may not get your stolen bike back. 

Second, an innocent person can suffer as he can’t get the service of a police officer because the police officer is working on the wrong information. 

2. Do Not Force The Police To Take The Incident Seriously:

The police take action on the pending cases depending on their merits. Even if you think the police are not taking your case seriously, you should not force them. There might be other important factors going on. Saving a life is always more important than saving a bike, right? 

3. Do Not Forget To Show Them Photos:

This fact is significant as photos are a better way to describe something than words of mouth. If you can show some photos to the police authority or the local pawn shops, they may help you better.

4. Do Not Wait To Report:

You may think of tracking your bike first using the tracker. Don’t wait. Report to the police first. You do not know how accurate the tracker of your bike is. Even if the tracker is a top-notch gadget, report it to the police first. You will need the document of the report when reclaiming your bike.

Related Questions:

Where Do You Report Your Stolen Bike First?

The police are the most likely place to start. There are unique stations for reporting stolen goods in many cities, including bikes. These stations will take down all the relevant information about your motorcycle. In addition, they will make sure that it gets entered into a national database of stolen goods.

They may also give out flyers to include with your bike’s description. Other places to report a stolen bike include local pawn shops or Craigslist sellers who may have bought or sold your bike. Even if they don’t know the sellers, they can at least tell you whether anyone has tried to sell them something similar.

What Should You Do If Your Bike Is Stolen?

Reporting to the police should be the first of your actions. You’ll need to give them your bike’s VIN, make and model, color, year of manufacture, and any distinguishing marks (tattoos, dents, or scratches). You can also take photos of the bike to help them in their investigation.

In addition, if you have a tracking device on your motorcycle, notify the police about that as well. Besides, report to your insurance company that your bike was stolen, assuming you have insurance for your bike. If you have homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policies that include motorcycles, contact those companies.

Where Do Most Stolen Motorcycles Go?

The first place of these unlucky chaps is the second-hand bike market. The thieves sometimes dismantle the motorcycle to sell the parts. Other cases include where the thieves ship them overseas or even across state lines.

The purpose of the shipping is to sell them without fear of being detected by law enforcement officials. But there’s also another possibility. Criminals may also use them in organized crime activities such as gun-running or drug trafficking.

What Do Bike Thieves Do With Stolen Bikes?

Bike thieves often use Craigslist, eBay, and other online marketplaces to sell stolen bikes. They’ll often advertise them as being “like new” or “motorcycle police issue.” They do it hoping that people will buy them without doing any research first.

In the United States, people steal bikes for many reasons. Sometimes they sell it as parts, sometimes as “new” bikes, and sometimes they even use it as a getaway vehicle for other crimes.

Are Stolen Bikes Ever Recovered?

It is possible most of the time, but the recovery rate is meager. This is because so many people don’t record their bike’s serial number or take photos of it that law enforcement can use to identify the bike. 

This is why it’s so important to record your bike’s serial number and take photos of it when you first buy it. So, when the bike is stolen, you have proof of ownership to give to the police. In addition, you should file a police report as soon as possible after your bike is stolen.

Final Touch:

Reporting the theft of your motorcycle quickly is the best chance you have to get back your beloved bike. In most cases, the thieves promptly sell the stolen motorcycle in a rush to get off the stolen property. That is why you must report stolen motorcycles as fast as you can.

However, you should also do some other things like informing the insurance agency or the local pawn shops. You have to do as much as you can if you want to get back the motorcycle.

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