What to Do with a Stolen Car [Crime Exposed]

Howdy, Driver? It is common for offenders to ask what to do with a stolen car. All thanks to this common question as you will discover what thieves do with the cars they steal.

what to do with a stolen car

There is nothing special an offender does to a car he/she steals. When a car is stolen, the offender wastes no time proceeding with plans to make the stolen car legal. How is this? People do not just wake up to steal a car.

Before a car is stolen, offenders would have mapped out strategies to calm the heat and move the car somewhere secluded. Moreover, they are always on the lookout for the police or any agency hunting people partaking in the act of vehicle theft.

So, what do they do with stolen cars? Amid questions regarding what thieves do with stolen cars, people also ask a funny question like, “what do stolen cars do?” Never to worry, this article addresses the significant things offenders or thieves do with stolen cars.

What to Do with a Stolen Car

I understand that you are interested in what thieves do with a stolen car. Well, after a series of researches, below are what a thief does to a stolen car:

  1. Selling the Parts

What do car thieves look for

An offender can sell the parts of a stolen car to a crook car dealer. The crook car dealer will then contact the insurance auctions to buy cars that are in wrecks.

The insurance will put up the wrecked cars for auctions and the dealer will outbid other bidders. The sorts of bidders he faces generally deal on junks; they run body shops or junkyards. Eventually, the auction insurance company will discontinue the auction sales and bargain with the dealer who takes home the deal.

The dealer will salvage the parts in the car and sell it into scraps. The dealer will order a car that is similar to the stolen car or copy out the VIN of the same car along the street. He will alter the VIN of the stolen car and respray the stolen car to completely look like the legit car.

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When a buyer strikes a deal for the stolen car and assesses the VIN, it will reflect the details of the other car that the offenders copied out the identification number.

  1. Auctioning to Buyers Oversea

what Will i do to a stolen car

Here, the car remains intact and it is risky. The thief may have to bribe the border officials to ship the stolen car out of the country. However, bribery is not always the case.

Popular online market places also serve as markets for stolen vehicles. Usually, the offender will create an account on any of the vehicle selling website. He will enable auction sale which attracts more bargainers from various countries. Immediately, the best bidder emerges and the transaction is completed.

The offender may offer to pay for express shipping so that the stolen car will depart from the country early without detection.

Before shipping, the offender would have modified the VIN of the vehicle. It now becomes very tough for the border custom will find it difficult to tell whether the car is legit or stolen.

  1. Selling to Gangs

What a thief does with a Stolen Car

Regarding what to do with a stolen car, robbery gangs do come to mind. The thief links up with gangs planning a hit – robbery or territory attack. He bargains with the criminals who often underprice the vehicle since it is stolen.

They enter a deal and conclude early enough. During the night, the stolen car is towed to a secluded area where the criminals will meet for a hit. Once the hit is complete, the criminals abandon the stolen vehicle, which the police now reports as “found”.

The offender and gang earn while the owner loses due to the repair bills he may have to foot.

  1. Turning to Scrap

what should i do with a stolen car

What do they do with stolen cars? They quickly turn them to unrecognizable scraps. We already know that an offender would require a fake title of a vehicle, but would it be effective? Yes, it will because a car title is just a certificate.

If the offender is quick, he duplicates the car title with the Department of Motor Vehicles before the car owner reports to the police. He will also forge the vehicle registration papers using details that correspond with that of the original owner.

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What do you think the scrap yard would do? Reject the scrap? Of course, they won’t. If he links up with a crook junk dealer, the scraping process becomes even faster. In some cases, the scrap may be towed to a new location where it is rebuilt as a clean car. The scrap, however, will only take place after a VIN switch.

  1. Advert and Quick Sale

What do thieves do with stolen cars

Here, the offender makes use of the local newspaper to advertise a stolen car. He already has the forged registration documents, car title, or pink slip in place.

He makes the price so appealing that nobody would want to miss the offer. Eventually, he can find the best bidder who makes instant payment.

He hands over the papers and the vehicle and disappears into thin air. The happy buyer soon arrives at the Department of Motor Vehicles for registration. Guess what? The officials disclosed that the vehicle is stolen. Still, wondering what thieves do to a stolen car? You should not wonder anymore.

  1. Joy Riding

Joyride with a stolen car

It is funny, but true that an offender may steal your car for a joy ride. Regarding what to do with a stolen car, he drives it around recklessly and bumps into anything on the way. Should he be worried?

Well, he is aware that the repair bills would not be on him, but on the owner or insurance company. Traditionally, joyriding is associated with people who have a mental problem. Yes, because a thoughtful human would not attempt such an act.

The offender often drives the car to the rural areas where the police won’t disturb. He drives the car until it runs out of gas and then he abandons the stolen car wherever. Offenders usually get away, especially when there is no camera to pick their identity. Moreover, a joy ride is considered a crime and may land one in jail.

  1. Legalize the Car by Switching VIN

What do thieves do with stolen cars

A thief may decide to legalize and acquire a stolen car. This form of vehicle acquisition is rare, but it happens. Sometimes, the offender will refine the act by shipping out the car and reordering as an entirely new vehicle. How does it work? First, the offender will either modify the VIN to match with an existing car of the same model or junk the parts without VIN.

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If the offender chooses to junk the car, the police will find the parts with the VIN and report the stolen car as found. Eventually, the parts with VIN will be auctioned and the crook dealer will bid for the scraps.

He will win the bid and now has a complete set to rebuild the stolen car. Since the car has a new title now, it becomes legal and the offender is free to drive around the country.

Where to Sell a Stolen Car

There are no unique places to sell a stolen car other than the regular car markets. Three such includes:

The offender will sign up for any of the websites he prefers and sells the car like a legal or clean car. Simple, right? Well, it is never a difficult task.


Where Do Stolen Cars End Up

Stolen likely end up in junkyards, secluded areas, or are being shipped out of the country. You may as well find the parts of a stolen car in body shops but will not recognize even if it is yours. Why? The offenders carefully get rid of every mark you have imprinted on the body of the car.

How Long Does It Take Police to Find a Stolen Car

Unfortunately, the police can’t be so sure of the timeline for recovering a stolen vehicle. If your car is stolen for a joy ride or a gang hit, the police may find it within 7 days. If the offenders intend to legalize the car like theirs, it may take months and even a year. Worse of all, the successful legalization of a stolen car means the police can’t recover the car anymore.


In this article, you just read what to do with a stolen car concerning the activities of criminals. Do not just end at knowing the various things they do with stolen cars. Employ measures to protect your car and do not depend on the security gadgets of your car.

These security features often fail and offenders know how to breach the security systems. Be mindful of the places you park, do not leave your car in the ignition, and do not leave your car open.

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