How to Find a Stolen or Lost ATV and Prevent It from Being Lost Again

If you love to explore rough and rugged areas, there is nothing better than an all-terrain vehicle. Innovators have also found a number of other great uses for ATVs, including plowing, mowing, winching, and hauling, further increasing the utility and desirability of this great product. The stripped-down design of ATVs is one of the reasons they can handle uneven areas so well. Unfortunately, that also makes them rather easy to steal as thieves can simply roll the vehicle away. ATVs are a lot of fun to use, but the lack of security features in ATVS leaves some consumers wondering whether they are a good investment. In fact, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) cautioned that ATVs remain easy targets for thieves due to their small size and relatively few factory-installed, anti-theft features.

A new report by the NICB revealed that the tail end of summer—the months of July and August—is when thefts of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) typically surge. From 2016 to 2018, 19 percent of all ATV thefts during that period all occurred during the months of July and August. The year with the most reported ATV thefts was 2016, with 21,255 incidents, while 2018 had the least number, with 19,363. 

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According to NICB, an average of 20,399 ATVs are reported stolen each year. Mondays and Fridays are the most common days of the week for an ATV theft to occur. 

If you’re part of the statistic, here’s what you should do to recover your ATV.

How Do You Find Your Stolen or Lost ATV?

Report the loss immediately.

Dial the non-emergency number and inform them you need to report a stolen or lost motorbike. The police won’t secure the return of a single ATV, but the police report enables you to file an insurance claim. Upon reporting through their hotline, they may visit your house or location of the theft to complete the report or simply request that you visit the police station. Prepare all your necessary ATV documents by then (titles, bill of sale, pictures, description of any identifiers that are unique to your ATV). If your ATV was registered with your local DMV, it would especially be easier for law enforcement to return it to you if they find it.

Gather footage.

Have your neighbors seen anything? Does the store across the street have security footage? What about the nearby shed or garden or traffic light? With clear images or videos of the ATV thief and the escape route they were heading to, the chances of finding your lost ATV would increase greatly. 

Now’s also the time to collect things like photos of your ATV (always good to have a clear one around of the bike in its current state), registration, and insurance documents.

lost ATV

Post missing posters.

Post ads with a picture of your lost ATV and use bold capital letters to get everyone’s attention on every For Sale poster. Although this may seem old-school, fliers and posters with your lost ATV’s photo, identifiable marks, your phone number, and other critical information, as well as a reward, will be helpful to find your lost ATV. Give a good description for others to recognize it, but hold back at least one identifying characteristic so that you can verify whether the person calling really has your lost ATV or is just looking to make some money.

Make sure you have enough fliers to post around the area where your ATV was last seen. This way, your fliers will be noticed by more people in your neighborhood or in the community.

Ask for help online.

Everybody uses some form of social media almost daily now, and there are many groups that are involved inside social media sites (local clubs, local things for sale, stolen property, etc.).

Many ATV riders form close knit communities online that often discuss their hobbies in various forums. Many riders who just had their ATV stolen usually ask for help in recovering it. Also, stolen ATVs are occasionally offered for sale online or in local classifieds. Here are some common sense tips, don’t become a victim too. Make a few searches using the make and model of your ATV along with the word stolen to see if you can find listings or posts about a suspicious ATV in someone else’s hands. 

Check flea markets and shops of used ATVs.

These hot spots are actually huge collections of various stolen vehicles and parts. You can find almost anything there: from off-road bikes, ATVs, push bikes, and mountain bikes to dirt bikes and scooters. If you do find your lost ATV, don’t confront the seller directly! Call the cops instead so they’ll tell you what to do next. If you don’t see your ATV, you might want to call all the used shops in the area and give them a picture of your lost ATV. They are usually on the lookout because they’re not supposed to accept stolen property.

Don’t Lose Your ATV Again

lost ATV

“While we are seeing a decline in the number of ATV thefts, it’s important to not let your guard down, which is why we encourage ATV owners to take precautions to avoid becoming a victim of theft,” said NICB vice-president of communications Brooke Kelley.

To protect your ATV, you’ve got to have eyes all over it. An ATV GPS tracker can do that for you and more. As previously mentioned, a GPS device can locate any object’s position through triangulation. You can view your vehicle’s location from anywhere using your mobile phone or computer. If your ATV is moved from where you left it without a key, the device can detect it and you will be alerted via email or text message.

Apart from the location of your asset, you will also be notified of its motion progress details as it happens such as the direction it is headed to, speed and more. Here are some of the benefits and features of an ATV GPS tracker:

  • Towing detection and alert notification
  • Theft alerts
  • Over-speeding notification and detection
  • Real-time tracking
  • Low or disconnected battery warning
  • Small-sized and user-friendly
  • Waterproof
  • Motion-activated and energy-saving

Reliable, cost-efficient, and easy to use, these are the most sought-after characteristics of a good GPS tracker. You can have peace of mind knowing that your ATV is protected against theft. If, by any luck, despite the tight security measures you’ve taken, they are still able to steal your ATV, you know they can’t get away that far and your stolen ATV will be returned quickly.

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