If Your Car Is Ever Stolen, Have Taxi Companies Help You Find It

Hopefully, you will never need to use this information, but here it is just in case: The first calls you should make if your car is stolen is to all the taxi companies in your city. With a little reward incentive, you can have fleets of cabbies looking for your stolen car.

Picture: hansjnh/Shutterstock

This tip comes from Marginal Revolution reader Tyler Cowen, who says:

You offer a $50 reward to the driver who finds it AND a $50 reward to the dispatcher on duty when the car is found. The latter is to encourage dispatchers on shift to continually remind drivers of your stolen car. Of course you should call the police too but first things first. There are a lot more cabs than cops so cabbies will find it first -and they're more frequently going in places cops typically don't go, like apartment and motel complex parking lots, back alleys etc. Lastly, once the car is found, a swarm of cabs will descend and surround it because cabbies, like anyone else, love excitement and want to catch bad guys.

Hit up the link below to also find out the reason why seemingly knowledgable cab drivers ask how to get to your destination.

Taxis and the shortest route home (from my email) [Marginal Revolution via Kottke]


    It is actually illegal in Queensland to post a reward for the recovery of stolen property

    Edit - Summary Offences Act s 25A

    Last edited 02/02/13 10:12 am

      Seriously? What's the motivation behind that law?

        My guess is that they do not want a bunch of douche bag vigilantes going around town wielding pitchforks

          Awwww, that takes all the fun out of it :(

      Good thing this isn't advice on recovering stolen goods. It is a request for the location of a missing car which is then provided to Police for the purposes of recovery.

      Perfectly legal, even in Queensland.

      Not "Stolen", its "lost".. because you don't know where the thief left it

    police cars may not be as numerous as taxis, but they are commonly equiped with long range laser scanners, automatic number plate recognition (in Australia anyway) and onboard database of stolen vehicles, so they will detect your car much faster than any taxi. of course, that assumes the plates haven't been changed/obscured or the car is not hidden inside a garage/shipping container, which are more than likely with stolen cars.
    perhaps a future app will allow mobile phones to offer number plate recognition, which may help.

      yeah, Victoria has at least two cars with in vehicle number plate recognition, but as far as i know it has not been fully implimented in any state.
      Probably a good ide to go with the taxis, having said that I don't know how that'd go down in aus, where taxi's are much more regulated than in the US

      Last edited 04/02/13 10:11 am

        In Tas its fully implemented, We not long ago removed the registration stickers on cars, So the only way cops know to check the rego is the with licence plate recognition systems.

    "But we aren't vigilantes, we are an angry mob"

    I used to work for the largest taxi network in Sydney and we never put out those kind of broadcast messages unless the police requested it. So, I wouldn't bother wasting their, and your time.

      Because you didn't have an incentive. Promise enough money and they will do it.

      Yeah I can't imagine any dispatch in Aus actually doing this. They have a hard enough time filling the dispatch requests as it is. $50 may get a cabbie excited, but I can't imagine the company would want half of their drivers zooming over to the same suburb to look for someone else's stolen car.

      I know someone that did that, and a taxi driver found it - but their reward was $2500 (they had irreplaceable personal items in the car)

    The author clearly has never called a taxi company in Australia! You'll be lucky if they even pick up the phone, let alone take your strange custom request (no matter the reward on offer).

    Oh yes, Australia has sooo many taxis...

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