Unveiling the First Move of Car Thieves: What Happens After They Steal a Car

Car theft is a common crime that affects many people worldwide. It’s a distressing experience that leaves victims feeling violated and helpless. But have you ever wondered what happens after a car is stolen? What is the first move of car thieves? This article aims to shed light on the initial steps car thieves take after stealing a vehicle and the subsequent actions that follow.

Immediate Actions After Theft

Once a car thief has successfully stolen a vehicle, their first move is usually to leave the scene as quickly as possible to avoid detection. This often involves driving to a safe location where they can assess the vehicle and plan their next steps.

Changing the Vehicle’s Appearance

One of the first things a car thief might do is change the vehicle’s appearance. This could involve repainting the car, changing the license plates, or even altering the vehicle identification number (VIN). By doing this, they make it harder for law enforcement to identify and recover the stolen vehicle.

Removing Any Tracking Devices

Modern cars often come equipped with GPS tracking devices that can help owners and police locate a stolen vehicle. Aware of this, car thieves will often try to locate and remove these devices as soon as possible after stealing a car.

What Happens to the Stolen Car?

What happens to a stolen car largely depends on the thief’s intentions. Some may use it for joyriding, others for committing further crimes, and some may even attempt to sell it.


Joyriding is when a car is stolen for the thrill of driving it without any intention of keeping or selling it. In these cases, the car is often found abandoned after a short period, although it may be damaged or even destroyed.

Committing Further Crimes

Some car thieves steal vehicles to use them in the commission of further crimes. This could include anything from robberies to drug trafficking. In these cases, the stolen vehicle is usually abandoned after the crime is committed.

Selling the Vehicle

Some car thieves may attempt to sell the stolen vehicle, either as a whole or in parts. This is often done through illegal channels, such as the black market or chop shops, where the car is disassembled and its parts sold separately.


Understanding the first moves of car thieves can help in the fight against car theft. By being aware of the common tactics used by thieves, car owners can take steps to protect their vehicles and make them less attractive to criminals. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.