Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S04-03-10
Vehicle Theft and Wanted Vehicle Procedures
Issue Date:11 January 2019Effective Date:11 January 2019
Rescinds:23 February 2012 Version
Index Category:Preliminary Investigations
I.Purpose
This directive outlines procedures for the reporting and processing of information pertaining to wanted vehicles.
II.Preliminary Investigation
  • A.When it is determined that a vehicle has been stolen, both state license plates have been stolen, or a vehicle is wanted in connection to a crime, the reporting officer will:
    • 1.examine the vehicle owner's State Registration Card and City Vehicle License Receipt to verify the vehicle license plate number, state, month/year of expiration, vehicle identification number (VIN), and city vehicle tag number (city and year) prior to entering this information on the appropriate case report. The officer will also request that the owner/victim produce a driver's license to confirm identity and record the driver's license number in the narrative section of the appropriate case report.
    • 2.if the state license plate number, VIN, or city vehicle license number is provided from memory or other source document, verify these numbers with the Secretary of State records through the dispatcher, the Hot Desk, or land based/mobile terminal computer. If the numbers:
      • a.have been verified, the officer will indicate in the narrative of the appropriate case report how the numbers were obtained (e.g., bill of sale, insurance policy, traffic citation, memory) and the method used to verify the numbers (e.g., OEMC dispatcher, Hot Desk); or
      • b.have not been verified, the officer will indicate in the VIN and license numbers verification box of the Vehicle Theft Case Report (CPD-11.412) or in the narrative of the appropriate case report which numbers were not verified.
  • B.When preparing a Vehicle Theft Case Report (CPD-11.412) or any other report in which a motor vehicle is stolen during the commission of a crime, the officer will inform the owner/complainant that, since the vehicle may be legally parked when recovered, the owner/complainant must indicate at the time the original report is being prepared whether the owner/complainant wants to:
    • 1.authorize the police to tow the vehicle when it is recovered; or
    • 2.be notified when the vehicle is recovered. The officer will advise the owner/complainant that if notification is requested, the owner/complainant will be responsible for retrieving said vehicle at the location of the recovery.
  • C.The officer will provide the Victim Information Notice form (CPD-11.383) to the owner/complainant and explain that authorization for the Chicago Police Department to tow a stolen vehicle upon recovery in Chicago will involve payment of towing and storage fees before the vehicle can be released. If, at the time the theft is reported to the Department, the owner/complainant chooses not to authorize the Department to tow a recovered stolen vehicle, the owner/complainant bears all risk of loss and the Department will make no special effort to protect the vehicle until the owner recovers it.
  • D.The officer preparing the AIRA Original Case Incident Report (CPD-11.388 (6/03)-C) will provide and request that the owner/complainant sign the Victim/Complainant Signature form (CPD-11.385).
    NOTE:
    If at any time the AIRA system is not operational, members will use the paper reporting system only after obtaining the approval of their supervisor, consistent with the Department directive titled "Alternate Paper Reporting Procedures."
  • E.If the owner/complainant is willing to sign the Victim/Complainant Signature form and requests that the vehicle be towed by the police, the officer will:
    • 1.check box 1 titled "Owner/Complainant Requests Police Tow" on the last line of the narrative section of the Vehicle Theft Case Report (CPD-11.412); and
    • 2.request the owner/complainant signature in the space provided as authorization for the tow of the vehicle.
  • F.If the owner/complainant is willing to sign the Vehicle Theft Case Report (CPD-11.412) and has indicated to be notified of the recovery, the officer will:
    • 1.check box 2 titled "Owner/Complainant Requests Notification" on the last line of the narrative section of the Vehicle Theft Case Report (CPD-11.412); and
    • 2.have the owner/complainant place his or her signature in the space provided. The signature will serve as notification that the owner/complainant has been informed of said options.
  • G.If the owner/complainant refuses to sign the Vehicle Theft Case Report (CPD-11.412), the officer will check box 3 titled "Options Given—Signature Refused" on the last line of the narrative section. A refusal to sign will be reported to the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) dispatcher as "the owner/complainant requests notification."
  • H.If the person reporting the vehicle theft is not the owner of the vehicle, the complainant will be requested to state whether the vehicle is to be towed upon recovery or if the owner/complainant is to be notified to retrieve said vehicle from the location of the recovery. If the complainant refuses to state a preference or sign the report, the officer will inform the OEMC dispatcher that the owner/complainant requests notification.
  • I.Upon completion of the appropriate case report, the officer will inform the OEMC City-wide 3 dispatcher or the Alternate Response Section—Administrative Desk (AD Desk) whether the vehicle will be towed or the owner/complainant requests notification. In addition, the officer will provide the dispatcher with all other information as required by existing Department directives and:
    • 1.notify the OEMC zone dispatcher that the theft of a motor vehicle or both state license plates is bona fide or that a motor vehicle has been stolen or used in connection with the commission of a particular crime;
    • 2.complete the appropriate case report even if unable to obtain the vehicle license plate number, vehicle identification number, or the city vehicle license number;
    • 3.report the following verified information to the OEMC City-wide 3 dispatcher or AD Desk:
      • a.vehicle license plate number, state, month/year of expiration, VIN or city vehicle license number, year, and city. Although any one of these identifiers is sufficient to accommodate the entry of the preliminary steal into the Hot Desk, it is desirable to obtain all of these identifiers;
      • b.vehicle year, make, body style, model, and color;
      • c.location of theft, beat of occurrence, and reporting unit;
      • d.date and time of occurrence;
      • e.name, address, business and home telephone numbers of registered owner; and
      • f.RD Number.
    • 4.place an "X" in the appropriate "yes" squares of the VIN and license numbers verification box of the Vehicle Theft Case Report (CPD-11.412) to indicate which data (e.g., state plate, city vehicle, VIN) of the stolen vehicle has been verified;
    • 5.if the vehicle has been stolen in connection with another offense, complete the vehicle identifier box in the AIRA Original Case Incident Report (CPD-11.388 (6/03)-C).
    • 6.indicate in the "Flash Message Sent" box of the appropriate case report if a flash message has been sent.
      NOTE:
      A Department member will transmit a Formal Wanted Message on the City-wide 3 channel and a Preliminary Wanted Message (Quick Flash) on the member's district primary channel zone consistent with the Department directive titled "Radio Communications."
  • J.A Supplementary Report (CPD-11.411-B) used to unfound a report in which a vehicle was stolen, wanted in connection with a crime, or provide additional or corrected vehicle data will be marked "one copy to Auto Reporting Desk" in the extra copies required box.
III.Office of Emergency Management and Communications
  • A.Upon notification of a vehicle steal, tow request, theft and recovery, or an owner request notification, the City-wide 3 dispatcher will:
    • 1.enter all verified required data into the Computer Aided Dispatch system (CAD), indicate in the space provided whether the vehicle should be towed or not towed, and enter the owner/complainant's preference into the Hot Desk; and
    • 2.enter all preliminary vehicle data directly into the Hot Desk where LEADS will automatically update the data to make this information immediately available to field officers. The data must be retrieved and checked by the Hot Desk staff to ensure that it is actually computerized.
    NOTE:
    If the CAD system is down and authorization is obtained, the City-wide 3 dispatcher will enter all verified data on a Radio Dispatch Set/Vehicle Information form (CPD-32.508) and forward the white original card to the Auto Reporting Desk.
  • B.The OEMC watch manager will ensure that all information is submitted to the Auto Reporting Desk within fifteen minutes of dispatcher initiation.
  • C.When a request for a license check reveals that a vehicle is stolen or wanted in connection with the investigation of a crime, the zone dispatcher will inform the inquiring officer of:
    • 1.the beat of occurrence and RD number of the original incident if the vehicle is a recovered stolen vehicle only;
    • 2.the beat of occurrence and RD number of any criminal incident in which the vehicle was used;
    • 3.additional units to notify as specified; and
    • 4.name and address of registered owner.
IV.Auto Reporting Desk
  • A.If, the CAD system is down and upon receipt of the Radio Dispatch Set/Vehicle Information card from the zone dispatchers, Auto Reporting Desk personnel will be responsible for the verification of all information included on the Radio Dispatch Set/Vehicle Information card (CPD-32.508) against the Hot Desk entry for accuracy. The Auto Reporting Desk personnel will then promptly file the card in the back-up file.
  • B.Assigned personnel will enter all additional data necessary to satisfy the file upon receipt of the supporting case report.
V.Bureau of Detectives
Stolen vehicles reported on a Vehicle Theft Case Report (CPD-11.412)
  • A.An Area Property Crimes Section detective will:
    • 1.complete the information required in the "For Detective Division Use Only" portion of the original Vehicle Theft Case Report (CPD-11.412). The detective will then submit the report to his or her immediate supervisor who will, if necessary, assign the case to a field detective; and
    • 2.forward the original Vehicle Theft Case Report (CPD-11.412) to the Records Processing Section of the Records Division.
  • B.The field detective will contact the Auto Reporting Desk and inform them of the results of the investigation when:
    • 1.verified data is obtained that was not listed on the original case report;
    • 2.the data listed on the original case report is incorrect; or
    • 3.the theft is not bona fide.
  • C.The detective assigned to investigate an incident in which a motor vehicle or trailer was stolen or wanted in connection with a crime, other than an auto theft, and documented on a report other than a Vehicle Theft Case Report (CPD-11.412), will:
    • 1.obtain, verify, or correct the VIN, state license number, month/year of expiration, and city vehicle license number;
    • 2.verify computer entry via the land-based computer terminal; and
    • 3.notify the Auto Reporting Desk when:
      • a.verified data is obtained and no computer entry exists;
      • b.additional verified data is obtained; or
      • c.the crime is not bona fide.
VI.Recovery Procedures
  • A.An officer that locates a stolen vehicle or a vehicle that is wanted in connection with a crime will proceed in the same manner as is appropriate to the investigation of any crime.
  • B.When a recovered vehicle is listed as stolen or wanted in connection with a crime, it is imperative that the recovering officer:
    • 1.ensures that the OEMC zone dispatcher is notified of the recovery information and indicates in the appropriate report how the vehicle is cleared. However, Property Crimes Section detectives may notify the  Auto Reporting Desk and the Automotive Pound Section by PAX telephone of the recovery;
    • 2.include the VIN in the report as seen on the vehicle at the time of recovery; and
    • 3.prepare a Recovered Vehicle Supplementary Report (CPD-11.409) in all instances when a motor vehicle or trailer is recovered that was previously reported as stolen in Chicago. This report must be used no matter how the vehicle was stolen (e.g., theft, robbery, burglary, deceptive practice). If a vehicle is towed and is subsequently found to be stolen, the beat of recovery will be the original location of recovery. The recovery of a motor vehicle stolen outside of Chicago requires the preparation of a Vehicle Theft Case Report (CPD-11.412).
  • C.The recovering officer will complete the appropriate case report and a Vehicle Tow Report (CPD-11.413) when it is necessary to tow a stolen vehicle to an auto pound. If the information pertaining to the owner is not immediately available from the OEMC dispatcher for completion of the report, the recovering officer will:
    • 1.obtain the RD number from the OEMC dispatcher;
    • 2.prepare the Vehicle Tow Report (CPD-11.413) in duplicate; and
    • 3.leave the original in the tow basket for a city-authorized tow truck driver.
    NOTE:
    All information available at the time of recovery will also be entered on the Recovered Vehicle Supplementary Report (CPD-11.409) or the Vehicle Theft Case Report (CPD-11.412). The reports will be forwarded through normal channels.
  • D.A legally parked recovered stolen vehicle that is needed for evidence, further investigation, or constitutes a hazard (e.g., the ignition locking system has been defeated and the vehicle cannot be securely locked) will be towed without prior notification to the owner/complainant.
  • E.When an officer recovers a stolen vehicle (excluding a foreign recovery) that is LEGALLY PARKED and the vehicle is not needed for evidence, further investigation, or constitute a hazard, the officer will request the OEMC zone dispatcher to make a Hot Desk inquiry to determine if the vehicle will be towed or if the owner/complainant will retrieve said vehicle.
    • 1.If the OEMC dispatcher indicates the vehicle will be towed, the reporting officer will immediately complete the appropriate case report and a Vehicle Tow Report (CPD-11.413).
    • 2.If the computer inquiry indicates that the vehicle owner/complainant will retrieve the vehicle, the OEMC dispatcher will:
      • a.inform the officer that the vehicle owner/complainant will retrieve the vehicle;
      • b.follow established OEMC procedures to inform the owner/complainant of the location of the vehicle;
      • c.if the owner has been contacted prior to the time the officer returns to service, the officer will indicate in the Owner/Complainant Notified by COS box of the Recovered Vehicle Supplementary Report (CPD-11.409) or the narrative section of the appropriate case report that the owner/complainant has been notified by the OEMC and document the date and time of the notification;
      • d.if the owner has not been contacted prior to the time the officer returns to service, inform the recovering officer that the owner/complainant has not been contacted. The officer will indicate in the Owner/Complainant Notified by COS Box of the Recovered Vehicle Supplementary Report (CPD-11.409) or in the narrative section of the appropriate case report that the owner/complainant could not be contacted by OEMC; and
      • e.indicate in the CAD system whether or not the owner was notified of the recovery of the vehicle and document the date and time of the notification.
    • 3.The recovering officer will not delay the completion of the appropriate case report while awaiting notification from the dispatcher that the owner/complainant was or was not notified.
    • 4.If the Hot Desk inquiry does not indicate whether the owner/complainant will be notified or whether the vehicle will be towed, the OEMC dispatcher will call the telephone number(s) listed for the owner/complainant to determine preference.
    • 5.If the owner/complainant cannot be contacted prior to the time the officer returns to service, the vehicle will not be towed and the officer will indicate in the Owner/Complainant Notified by COS box of the Recovered Vehicle Supplementary Report (CPD-11.409) or in the narrative section of the appropriate case report the words "Dispatcher unable to notify owner/complainant."
  • F.When an officer makes a recovery of a vehicle that was stolen outside of Chicago and the vehicle is LEGALLY PARKED, does not constitute a hazard, or is not wanted for evidence or further investigation, the vehicle WILL NOT BE TOWED and:
    • 1.the officer recovering the vehicle will prepare the appropriate case report and notify the OEMC dispatcher who will follow the applicable provisions of Item III of this order; and
    • 2.the Field Services Section will ensure that the police agency that reported the vehicle theft is notified of the recovery. If advised by the police agency that the owner desires that said vehicle be towed, the Field Services Section will request that the OEMC dispatcher assign a beat car to prepare a Vehicle Tow Report (CPD-11.413) and follow established towing procedures.
  • G.When an officer makes a recovery of a vehicle that was stolen outside of Chicago and the vehicle is LEGALLY PARKED, does constitute a hazard, or is wanted for evidence or further investigation, the vehicle will be towed, the officer will prepare the appropriate case report, and indicate in the narrative of the report the reason for the tow.
  • H.When an officer recovers a vehicle that was stolen outside of Chicago and the vehicle is returned to the owner by the recovering officer, the officer will:
    • 1.prepare the appropriate case report;
    • 2.request that the owner sign the report in the narrative section or the Victim/Complainant Signature form (CPD-11.385) as appropriate;
    • 3.indicate in the report that the vehicle was returned to the owner; and
    • 4.notify the OEMC dispatcher that the vehicle was returned to the owner.
  • I.Officers recovering a stolen vehicle that is NOT LEGALLY PARKED will complete the appropriate case report, Vehicle Tow Report (CPD-11.413), and indicate in the narrative section of the report the nature of the violation or the hazardous condition that necessitated the vehicle be towed.
(items indicated by italics/double underline were added or revised)
Authenticated by: KC
Eddie T. Johnson
Superintendent of Police
17-032 JAB
PHONE BOOK:
1.
Auto Pound Section - Auto Desk
PAX 2100