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  1. #1
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    Reporting a vehicle stolen

    If a person regularly uses another person's vehicle, has people to vouch for that, and carries a duplicate registration and insurance card, what happens if the owner of the vehicle reports it stolen by that other person?

    Specifically, a parent lets a child use a vehicle regularly, or a vehicle is registered to one spouse and the other spouse uses it; there is a family argument and when the child or spouse goes about his or her business in the vehicle, the parent or other spouse reports it stolen, out of spite.

    What happens? Can the accuser be charged with filing a false report, and can the accused press charges for being falsely accused?

  2. #2
    Forum Member Nightshift va's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minotaur View Post
    If a person regularly uses another person's vehicle, has people to vouch for that, and carries a duplicate registration and insurance card, what happens if the owner of the vehicle reports it stolen by that other person?

    Specifically, a parent lets a child use a vehicle regularly, or a vehicle is registered to one spouse and the other spouse uses it; there is a family argument and when the child or spouse goes about his or her business in the vehicle, the parent or other spouse reports it stolen, out of spite.

    What happens? Can the accuser be charged with filing a false report, and can the accused press charges for being falsely accused?
    Atleast in Va, the felony charge would be "Unauthorized Use" which the actual owner of the car (the registered owner) has to get the warrant or the officer can since it's a felony. It wouldn't be a false report by any means. I charged a lady with this and she did two years once. She was a crack addict who had always been allowed to use her fathers car and he told her she could'nt anymore and she took it and traded it for a crack rock and it was found destroyed. Even though she had been allowed to use the car in the past. Personally, IMHO it should all be a civil matter if you are dumb enough to let a crack head use your car or if you are a crack head and voluntarily give your car to a drug dealer (which is the norm in these cases) you deserve what you get. But I don't write the laws, I just enforce them.
    "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The MARINES don't have that problem." ....Ronald Reagan

  3. #3
    Forum Member jchughes05's Avatar
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    "Unauthorized Use" here, too.
    The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

    I Am the Sheepdog.



  4. #4
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    Unauthorized use? Really!? Even though the driver has always had permission to use the vehicle, and the owner is only reporting it out of spite. That's pretty unfortunate. Thanks.

  5. #5
    Forum Member jchughes05's Avatar
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    Doesn't matter if they always use it, if it's not theirs and someone does not know or approve of them using their vehicle... it's unauthorized use.
    The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

    I Am the Sheepdog.



  6. #6
    Forum Member CruiserClass's Avatar
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    In Indiana it would be criminal conversion at the least, auto theft at the most. Spouse couldn't report it stolen by the other spouse, though, as its a community property state and they both technically own the vehicle regardless of who registered it.

  7. #7
    Forum Member JI603's Avatar
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    Civil matter here - no stolen vehicle report would be taken by an officer on more than a few years. We're supposed to pull the driver out at gunpoint because a family member got his/her pants in a bunch and reported the vehicle stolen out of spite? Don't think so.

  8. #8
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    We wouldn't even take a report.
    Where'd you learn that, Cheech? Drug school?

  9. #9
    Forum Member Fuzz's Avatar
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    I think some people are jumping the gun here. If someone has authorization to use a vehicle and that authorization is never revoked you cannot have them arrested for stealing the vehicle. In the example given the owner only called out of spite and never revoked the permission to use the vehicle....


    Specifically, a parent lets a child use a vehicle regularly, or a vehicle is registered to one spouse and the other spouse uses it; there is a family argument and when the child or spouse goes about his or her business in the vehicle, the parent or other spouse reports it stolen, out of spite.



    No crime has occurred. Now if the owner told the person to no longer use it or not to take it then it would be stolen or unauthorized use.

  10. #10
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    I"ve had a spouse call to try and report her vehicle stolen by her husband after she filed for divorce.....they weren't divorced yet so the vehicle still belonged to him also so he didn't steal it....but she couldn't comprehend that because he took the vehicle with him out of state....I told her it was a civil issue and she needed to take it up with her divorce attorney and left her squaking at me at her front door.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzz View Post
    Now if the owner told the person to no longer use it or not to take it then it would be stolen or unauthorized use.
    OK, thanks.

    To be more specific, my sister-in-law pulls these controlling stunts with her 20 and 21 year old kids. They pay the insurance, they put gas in the vehicles, etc. They support her. She is a very controlling person in all aspects.

    When she gets p*ssed at them for whatever reason, she says that if they think they're going to go out and use the cars she'll call the police and report the car(s) stolen. Now, these are cars the kids use to go to work, school, and yes, hang out with friends. As long as they were giving her enough money everything was fine.

    So that's the reason for my question. And yes she would do it, she's that nasty. I've seen her interact with the police on other matters and it's a wonder they didn't arrest her for just breathing. But I digress... sorry.

    The responses are interesting. Really different than what I thought. Sounds like the kids or anyone else who doesn't actually own the vehicle could be in for a "rough ride" with a spiteful owner.

  12. #12
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    There's no criminal matter. The most I would do after explaining that I wasn't going to do anything would be a "If you happen to stop this person ask them to contact the owner" bolo. About 2/3 of our "stolen vehicle" calls are either this or "ghetto rent-a-cars" if you know what I mean.

  13. #13
    Forum Member luckydog's Avatar
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    that would be unauthorized use here too, but it's not criminal. and no, calling the police about it would not be false report of a crime

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by StudChris View Post
    There's no criminal matter. The most I would do after explaining that I wasn't going to do anything would be a "If you happen to stop this person ask them to contact the owner" bolo. About 2/3 of our "stolen vehicle" calls are either this or "ghetto rent-a-cars" if you know what I mean.
    Thanks. I'm not a cop and don't know the law but my gut tells me that if I were a cop and I got a call like this, I'd want to give the caller/owner a serious tongue-lashing and dressing down for wasting my time, especially calling on her own kids. Then I'd walk away.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckydog View Post
    that would be unauthorized use here too, but it's not criminal. and no, calling the police about it would not be false report of a crime
    So it sounds like it would be a nuisance and waste of time. Not the sort of thing you guys need to be bothered with. That's why I give you props for doing the jobs you do.

  16. #16
    Forum Member CruiserClass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minotaur View Post
    OK, thanks.

    To be more specific, my sister-in-law pulls these controlling stunts with her 20 and 21 year old kids. They pay the insurance, they put gas in the vehicles, etc. They support her. She is a very controlling person in all aspects.

    When she gets p*ssed at them for whatever reason, she says that if they think they're going to go out and use the cars she'll call the police and report the car(s) stolen.

    ...doesn't actually own the vehicle could be in for a "rough ride" with a spiteful owner.
    If they are 20/1 they need to get the cars in their own names. If they are registered to her and she says they can't use it, regardless of the legitimacy of the reason, it is her legal right to do deny them the vehicles. It's also not likely she's going to tell the reporting officer "I'm being spiteful and reporting..." I've taken stolen vehicle reports in conjunction with runaways where the 17 y/o took a car they can normally drive. Even if charges aren't filed, it can be a pain for the driver if caught, as you've noticed.

    That said, many stolen vehicles aren't stolen, as some other officers have alluded to. My agency requires that the reporting person sign an agreement to prosecute whoever is found in possession of the vehicle in order for them to report it stolen. The prosecutor could file charges on the reporting person if they fail to assist in prosecution.

  17. #17
    Forum Member Taylor1430's Avatar
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    Unauthorized Use here in MD too. I've never had it come up with family members trying to get even. Usually its a crackhead that turned their car over for some crack and never got it back.

    The few legit cases that I've had were of auto mechanics not returning the owners vehicle.

  18. #18
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    Thanks guys. So I guess until the time comes that a kid can afford his or her own vehicle, if they have a spiteful and controlling parent, it's best to try to stay in the parent's good graces.

  19. #19
    Go on, touch it... JSD73's Avatar
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    Husband and wife.....ha, civil matter, tough cookies.

    You let someone use it, regardless if it was for crack....tough cookies for you...civil matter. Shouldn't be so stupid.

    No permission from rightful owner....criminal matter.....

    Tell the two kids to move out...move on....get a new life where they don't have to answer to her for anything.

  20. #20
    Opionated stormz5192's Avatar
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    In NJ, it would not be considered stolen. It is TAKING MOTOR VEHICLE WITHOUT OWNERS CONSENT. Not entered into NCIC and is basically a traffic summons. However, if the vehicle is taken for sometime and the second party has no intention of returning the vehicle, it is a Stolen MV.

  21. #21
    Some Pig duke3478's Avatar
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    In any of these cases, the 'kids' would have to be aware that they weren't authorized to take the vehicle. Without intent there is no crime, neither TVWOOC nor Unauthorized Use, regardless of the state's semantics or nuances. If under normal circumstances they are allowed to use them, and suddenly they aren't allowed, that doesn't make them criminally responsible. (or civilly responsible)

    If she gives them notice, and they then come and use the vehicle anyway, then sure. But under the described circumstances, no. And yes, she would be committing a crime by reporting them stolen. Not necessarily by calling the police, but if she alleged (lied) and said they were stolen, then yes.
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  22. #22
    Corporal redbird07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jchughes05 View Post
    Doesn't matter if they always use it, if it's not theirs and someone does not know or approve of them using their vehicle... it's unauthorized use.
    Ditto. Happens all the time.

  23. #23
    Awesome cool guy extreme mtxpro752's Avatar
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    In the case of kids with regular access who have proof of some type of ownership in the vehicle no way will we take a stolen report.

    Our auto Dects won't take stolen in these cases unless it's gone for 5+ days. I.E. you let your friend borrow your car to go get a pack of smokes and return afterward, he doesn't come back, you have to wait 5 days before it's stolen. After 5 days if it isn't back it will be put in as stolen, driver will be charged with 10851CVC -


    § 10851. Theft and unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle

    (a) Any person who drives or takes a vehicle not his or her own, without the consent of the owner thereof, and with intent either to permanently or temporarily deprive the owner thereof of his or her title to or posession of the vehicle, whether with or without the intent to steal the vehicle, or any person who is party or an accessory to or an accomplice in the driving or unauthorized taking or stealing, is guilty of a public offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year or in the state prison or by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.
    Originally Posted by VegasMetro
    maybe it’s me but I think a six pack and midget porn makes for good times?????

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