When police receive a complaint that a car has been vandalized, they will take a report from the owner. What happens next depends on the local jurisdiction and whether the police agency has sufficient resources to fully investigate every crime.
If your car is vandalized, you should make a report as soon as possible by either calling the nonemergency police number or going to the police station in person. Be sure to have available your vehicle registration, car license number and as much detail as possible about when, where and how the car was damaged.
Whether the police will come to the scene to take a report depends on a number of factors, including whether there is an officer available and what the department priorities are at the time. In many jurisdictions, car vandalism is a low priority for investigation.
It is important to make a police report as soon as possible after you notice the vandalism. If the police do not come to the scene, you should take photos of the vandalism from every angle and make an inventory of anything damaged or missing from the car.
What to Expect
If a police officer does come to investigate the car vandalism, he or she will usually take photographs of the damage and the surrounding area. The officer may also see if fingerprints or other evidence was left behind by the person responsible for the vandalism.
One of the reasons for filing a police report and asking for an investigation is that your automobile insurance may cover any damages. The police will give you a report or incident number which you should keep to provide to your insurance company if you make a claim.
Most of the time when a car is vandalized, it is a random act. However, if you believe it is a result of harassment directed at the owner, be sure to report that to the police. To prevent random acts of vandalism, try to park in lighted areas, close to other activities or in a locked garage.