Would You Call the Cops if Your Kid Stole Your Vehicle?

Ames, Iowa police received a report of a stolen vehicle from a man who said his son had become upset and took his pickup and trailer. The police saw the vehicle, chased and surrounded it but the guy wouldn’t stop so one of the officers fired several shots into the truck and killed him.

While I wouldn’t be surprised if I heard about this happening in a big city, it shocks me that the police are so trigger-happy in an Iowan college town. [The police are giving the excuse about danger to pedestrians–but it seems fairly clear the vehicle was pretty well blocked in.]

Would I call the cops if my kid stole my vehicle? Depends on the circumstances and the kid.

I’m pretty sure we have a Doper from Ames. Maybe he’ll pop in with some insight on the frame of mind of the local cops. It does seem like there’s been more violent stuff going on in central Iowa lately.

I would call the cops, not because I was upset about the vehicle; it would be because something else would have to be really, REALLY, wrong for that to happen.

were the police involved with the truck shooting in the Dorner case ever charged?

My dad did that with my stepsister. This was back in maybe 1989 though, and things seem to have changed since then. Long story, short version, she drove the car he bought her out of the state. He still was the titled owner and the insurance was his with her as an add-on. She left without permission (much more story) and he changed the locks on the house, then reported the car stolen. She was 18 or 19, and a dumbass. The police detained her in the state where she was found (maybe Tennessee?), my dad and uncle drove down, didn’t press charges, retrieved the car and left her to bail herself out or whatever one needs to do, and take a bus home.

I’m fairly certain it never crossed any of our minds it could ever have turned into a chase and shoot scenario, though.

If the kid took the car because he thinks he can have it back before I’m the wiser? No
If the kid took the car and I get the feeling he’s headed to Mexico? (or not coming back.) Yes

It would really depend on the circumstances but I would think twice before involving the criminal justice system.

No, I would not. It would work itself out eventually and I am not putting any of my kids in jail so why involve the cops?

If my one of my kids stole one of my rigs, they must have needed it and could not find me. So no, I would not. I would be very surprised though. I am not hard to find and I will usually loan them my machines. I will even know which one of my rigs will work best for them. Although they always seem to need the one with the most fuel in the tank.

Prior conditions?
Possibly yes.

This. It really depends greatly on circumstances.

I’d be very surprised if this happened in a big city, as reporting a car stolen here in Chicago is pretty much administrative - you get the police report to forward to your insurance company. The police made it very clear that they wouldn’t actively look for the car, but if they tripped over it for some other reason they’d contact me.

So I wouldn’t call it in trying to locate my kid - I’d probably try to track their phone.

After the fact, sure. I don’t want my hypothetical kid involved in a dangerous high speed chase. But I do believe they should be held responsible for the financial and legal ramifications of theft, whether it’s from a family member or otherwise.

Same in NY- and I’ve never heard of a chase here simply because a stolen car was seen driving down the street.

Trigger happy? He smashed the trailer into a police car (going up on the car hood) and almost killed a pedestrian as it barrel rolled onto the sidewalk. It sucks that the kid died but that wasn’t because he stole the truck.

In Virginia we have a nifty little crime called “unauthorized use of a vehicle.” Basically, taking a car without permission, or outside the scope of permission, but without the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the car. All theft crimes in VA have a misdemeanor/felony threshold of $200. All cars cost $200.

So Tommy takes parent’s car without permission to sneak out with his girlfriend. Parent wants to teach Tommy a lesson and calls the cops. Cop comes and scares Tommy, and Tommy gives a crying confession. Parent is satisfied.

Six months later, Tommy and parent receive a notice of arraignment hearing for a felony unauthorized use of a vehicle. Juvenile court, probation, the works. Usually more onerous on the parents then the kids. With a full confession, some prosecutors will even go forward without a willing parent to testify.

So for me, unless its my hypothetical 23 year old, heroin addicted child, then no. I will not involve the police. If I can help it.

No, I would not call the cops on my own kid. It’s hard to imagine a circumstance where I would call the cops on a family member. The less interaction with the police, the better. I’m not about to invite their violence and strong-arm tactics into my family. The increased militarization of our nation’s police forces, and their tendencies to use excessive force is not something to fool around with.

We had a big row/divide in the family over this. A cousin of mine pulled a gun on his mother during a family argument, and his grandmother called the police. His sister and mother/potential murder victim were outraged that she called the cops (he did 3 months on juvie) and boycotted any family function she attended (which was all of them).

To me, the family covenant works both ways - robbing or threatening family members means you’ve decided they’re not your family, they’re your victims, so they should treat you like any other criminal.

As for what happened with the kid, its unfortunate (I don’t get his mom trying to get details on the paper’s web site, but okay…). When I did my storming off during my teen years, I always left on foot.

In the very extreme case that she was heavily drug-addicted and I hoped to save her life by forcing a trip to re-hab - Yes. Otherwise, no. Everything I have is hers.

If the kid was running wild and would be as likely to commit a crime on someone else as you, yes I’d call the cops on them.