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How does one find out if a car was reported stolen?

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How does one find out if a car was reported stolen?

Old 02-22-08, 10:28 AM
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How does one find out if a car was reported stolen?

I did a forum search for this, but couldn't find this question answered previously: How do I find out if a car has been reported stolen?

Without boring you folks with all the details, I work in an office building with a limited number unreserved parking spaces, and one of the best spaces has been occupied for something like two months by a car that has not been moved the entire time. The incompetent managers of the parking garage have chalked the tires repeatedly and left a note (or fine or something) on the window, but have done nothing to have the car towed. Supposedly they don't know whose car it is.

Based on the fact that it is a late-model car in good shape, and it's parked in a haphazard way, I doubt the owner would just abandon it. I'm thinking this car might have been stolen and ditched in the garage months ago. (You don't need to be a tenant to get into the garage.)

So how would I find out if the car has been reported as stolen? Can I just call the police department with the make, model and license plate number? Would they even tell me? This is in the city of Los Angeles, by the way, so the police department is large, bureaucratic and hard to navigate.

Thoughts? Thankls for the help, otters!
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Old 02-22-08, 10:33 AM
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Steal it, and then when you get arrested say you were just driving it around trying to find the owner.
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Old 02-22-08, 10:39 AM
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http://www.stolencarreports.com
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Old 02-22-08, 10:41 AM
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Call the PD, give them the plate number and report it as a suspicious vehicle. Whether they tell you if it's stolen or not, they'll at least run the plate. If it's stolen, they'll handle it.
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Old 02-22-08, 10:41 AM
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You should be able to call the non-emergency number of your local station and give them the info. They might not be able to tell you whether or not it was stolen but if it was I'm sure they'll have someone come out and take a look. There is also this, http://www.stolencarreports.com/ but it seems to require an account.
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Old 02-22-08, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by AGuyNamedMike
I tried this Web site, but it appears (from the limited information on the site) that they only list stolen cars that the victims of theft have themselves registered with the Web site. So if someone had their car stolen, and didn't register the theft with this Web site, it wouldn't be listed.

Any other ideas?
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Old 02-22-08, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by antennaball
Call the PD, give them the plate number and report it as a suspicious vehicle. Whether they tell you if it's stolen or not, they'll at least run the plate. If it's stolen, they'll handle it.
Yeah, this is what I was thinking. I guess I'll try this (suggested by Nemein as well). I just was hoping for something easier than dealing with byzantine LAPD structure, but it sounds like that's the answer.
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Old 02-22-08, 11:37 AM
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I live in Los Angeles, just call the local police station, tell them that the car has been there for 2 months and give them the plate number and if the tags are up to date and they will send some one out, should only take you 5-10 minutes. Made it easy for you here is the number for Abandoned Vehicles.
800-ABANDON (222-6366)
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Old 02-22-08, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by movie diva
I live in Los Angeles, just call the local police station, tell them that the car has been there for 2 months and give them the plate number and if the tags are up to date and they will send some one out, should only take you 5-10 minutes. Made it easy for you here is the number for Abandoned Vehicles.
800-ABANDON (222-6366)
Thanks, movie diva! Now I just hope I don't get in trouble with the parking garage people since, technically, it's none of my business. (And, if it isn't stolen, I guess I'll have to drop the issue.)
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Old 02-22-08, 12:00 PM
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"Hello Joe's Towing? Yeah, this is the building manager for XYZ Address. There has been a car out here that hasn't moved in months. You'll see all the markings on the tire when you get here. We need it towed. Thanks."

I actually learned this "trick" from the hardasses in my apartment complex in Cleveland. Finding an apartment building with actual parking is hard, and the spaces are small to boot. But often, someone's friend or boyfriend would come really late, intend to either leave or get up early and move the car, but then forget or just not care. Well that car would be gone because the residents had it towed. Bear in mind, this was LEGIT towing, the car was parking either in a reserved spot or in such a way to block in people. Those guys had none of it, they would brag about to me in the laundry room.
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Old 02-22-08, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
"Hello Joe's Towing? Yeah, this is the building manager for XYZ Address. There has been a car out here that hasn't moved in months. You'll see all the markings on the tire when you get here. We need it towed. Thanks."
I'd consider doing this -- and I like the way you think -- but I don't know what towing company the building uses (assuming they have one under contract), and it's not posted anywhere that I've seen.

I'd love to put the car in neutral and roll it into one of the reserved spaces. Then that thing would be towed in minutes, guaranteed, after the owner of the space makes a huge stink. But I have neither the skills nor desire to break into the car and shift it into neutral.

Anyhow, I called that number movie diva suggested. The woman took all the information about the car and its location, and, fortunately, didn't ask for any of my information. She said someone would be out to check it. We'll see what happens.
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Old 02-22-08, 01:29 PM
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What kind of car? You might be able to just cut the shifter cable and put the tranny in neutral from underneath.
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Old 02-22-08, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by AGuyNamedMike
What kind of car? You might be able to just cut the shifter cable and put the tranny in neutral from underneath.
It's a nice idea, but I'm not doing that. I really don't want to damage the car (or break the law), especially if it is a stolen car that the owner hasn't been able to locate. I just want it out of the space, that's all.
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Old 02-22-08, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
"Hello Joe's Towing? Yeah, this is the building manager for XYZ Address. There has been a car out here that hasn't moved in months. You'll see all the markings on the tire when you get here. We need it towed. Thanks."

I actually learned this "trick" from the hardasses in my apartment complex in Cleveland. Finding an apartment building with actual parking is hard, and the spaces are small to boot. But often, someone's friend or boyfriend would come really late, intend to either leave or get up early and move the car, but then forget or just not care. Well that car would be gone because the residents had it towed. Bear in mind, this was LEGIT towing, the car was parking either in a reserved spot or in such a way to block in people. Those guys had none of it, they would brag about to me in the laundry room.
That is good, I used to live in a shitty apartment building a few years ago, and this shit would happen all the time. At least twice a week, I would come home, and some fuck would be in my assigned spot. I would either block them in, or try to open the door, and set the alarm off. I would leave notes, and if they did not move in an hour or so, I would have them towed the fuck out of there. One time, some fuck got mad because I blocked him in, so I just refused to move my car. He got so mad he called the cops, and when they showed up, I just said I had been drinking, and even had a beer in my hand, and since I lived alone, had no one else to move it. The cops basically told the guy to deal with it, they totally had my back on it. I am so glad to not live at that shithole anymore.
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Old 02-22-08, 06:43 PM
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There used to be this rusted old car (maybe a Buick) parked outside of my apartment for 2 or 3 months. During that time it's windows were broken, it's interior was fugly and torn, and the tires were slashed. Eventually it started leaking oil, so I went to my landlord and when I got back from class it was gone. Sand was covering up the oil.

Why would people just abandon their cars?
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Old 02-22-08, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by CKMorpheus
There used to be this rusted old car (maybe a Buick) parked outside of my apartment for 2 or 3 months. During that time it's windows were broken, it's interior was fugly and torn, and the tires were slashed. Eventually it started leaking oil, so I went to my landlord and when I got back from class it was gone. Sand was covering up the oil.

Why would people just abandon their cars?
If it dies, and they are too fucking lazy to call the junkyard. They probably don't know that if you call, they will come to tow it away, and give you $25. In MA, if you abandon a car, and get caught, it's a misdemeanor.
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