What Happens When You File a Police Report for Vandalism?

Nobody wants to file a police report for vandalism, yet many people each year fall victim to criminal acts. 

Filing a police report is important for documentation, protecting your rights as a victim, and to help prevent future crimes. Read on to find out what happens during this process.

What Qualifies as Vandalism?

To vandalize a car is to deface, damage, or destroy another person’s car without their permission. Common types of vandalism are keying the car, slashing tires, egging, or smashing windows. Although some of these acts may seem petty, they are in fact considered crimes under state laws. Other legal terms used to describe these criminal acts are criminal or malicious damage and malicious trespass. Vandalism is also an intentional act, which is different from accidentally damaging someone’s car. Though you’ll be liable to pay for any damage in that situation, it isn’t a criminal act.

How Do You File a Police Report for Vandalism?

The very first thing you need to do when you notice vandalism is to call the police. Ask for a police officer to come and assess the damage. If that isn’t possible, you’ll need to file the report at the local station or over the phone. In Utah, your local police department may also have an online form to submit a report, which may help speed the process. Here is information you’ll want to document and include in the report you file with the police:


  • Photographic evidence of the damage. Make sure to take these pictures before doing any cleanup of paint or broken glass. 
  • Your driver’s license
  • The registration information for your car
  • Your auto insurance information or policy declaration page
  • The date and time of the vandalism
  • A detailed list of any stolen items. Remember to check for personal documents stored in the glove compartment. If information for bank accounts or credit cards may have been compromised, you should set up a fraud alert and consider freezing your accounts.

Why is It Important to File a Police Report?

One reason to file a report is that vandals will often target multiple vehicles in an area. Letting police know about your case may help them solve broader crimes. Additionally, you may want to file a claim with your insurance company, and they usually require a police report to process your claim. 

What Happens Next?

Once you have submitted the police report, the next step is to assess how to repair the damage. Take your car to a reputable auto repair shop to get a quote on repair costs. If you have comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, your auto insurance will likely cover the damage, but you’ll need to meet the deductible first. Depending on the extent of damage, it may be more cost-effective to pay for minor repairs yourself. As for the perpetrator, penalties under Utah law depend on factors like the extent of damage and prior convictions, ranging anywhere from a class B misdemeanor to a second-degree felony.

Turn to Schneider Auto Karosserie Body & Paint

If you have had to submit a police report for vandalism to your car, you need an auto shop you can trust for reliable service and repairs. Here at Schneider Auto, we are dedicated to restoring your car back to its original quality, and we will be your advocate with your insurance company. Contact us today for a free estimate on your car’s repairs. We serve Salt Lake City, Utah, and the surrounding cities.