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The following advice and tips on how file a police report are dependent on your country of origin. These tips on how file a police report regarding theft are however common in most countries, which follow the basic tenants of Western law:
(Step 1) How to file a police report? If you are a victim of theft, you should begin the process to file a police report by contacting the police station in the city where your property was stolen.
(Step 2) Go to the police station. Be prepared to file police report paperwork which will include detailed information about yourself, the stolen property, and any information you may have regarding the criminal(s). Give the police the best way to contact you, any time day or night.
(Step 3) Once you have filled out all the paperwork to file a police report, you will be given a police report file case #. You can use this case number to follow-up.
The insurance company, which provides your renter´s insurance or homeowner´s insurance, usually will not honor a report of theft that was done solely online. You will need to file an official police report. The insurance company usually needs the case number in order to honor a claim. Many insurance companies will not payout if the only step you have taken is to report theft online.
Anyone can file a police report and claim whatever they wish. After a police report is filed for theft, the police will investigate the claims. If the evidence associated with the claims is substantial, the criminal(s) are then arrested, and they district attorney then reviews the evidence in order to decide whether or not to file charges.
The victim should have realistic expectations when filing a police report. The police will most likely be very sympathetic with you, but unethical behavior may not be a criminal act and may fall under civil jurisdiction, meaning you may have to sue the party in civil court in order to recover what you may consider stolen. Clear cases of stolen property are, of course, criminal acts but that is something the police decide at the time you request to filing a police report for stolen property.
The statute of limitations varies according to laws of the township, city, county, municipality, district, state, and/or country where the police report was filed. If a police report has been filed for grand theft, the statute of limitations is usually three to five years. However, in the case of stolen art the statute can be decades. If the criminal(s) are discovered selling the stolen property after the statute of limitations has passed, then the statute in most cases does not apply and the criminal(s) will be prosecuted.
If you decide you wish to suspend or cancel a police report after you´ve filed, it may not necessarily be done. The police and district attorney alone have the power to drop the case after an official police report has been filed.
It is up to the victim of theft, to be as thorough as possible when filing a police report. Do not count on the police officer asking all the necessary information. Be descriptive. Tell the police officer filing the police report everything and anything which may help the police recover your stolen property.
There is nothing preventing a victim from pursuing both criminal and civil charges against perceived criminal(s). In other words, if you file a police report, you may also sue the suspect(s) in a civil court of law.