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My parents are currently out of town and they have left their vehicle parked on my block. We just discovered that the vehicle has been broken into. Aside from a few personal items, thieves have also stolen my father's vehicle registration and insurance cards.

How likely is it that these documents will be used to steal my father's identify? What can I do to prevent it?

We are in Brooklyn, NY (USA). My parents are currently in Alaska and cannot be reached by phone for another 3 days.

  • I did not call the cops because the vehicle has been moved after the scene1

  • I ordered a New York State vehicle registration replacement via New York DMV website.

  • I printed out a new insurance card.

I am now considering purchasing Equifax IdentityWorks plan as a preventative measure


1There was no visible damage and I discovered the mess thieves left after driving the vehicle for a few minutes

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    Hi @Dimitry_N - welcome to SE. Could you also post some actions you may have already taken? – perennial_noob May 24 '19 at 4:13
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    From registration and insurance cards the thief likely only has a name and address, I'd say the likelihood of identity theft is pretty low with those two things... – quid May 24 '19 at 4:40
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    Nevertheless, a crime has been committed and should be reported. – glglgl May 24 '19 at 6:52
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    Unless your information was on the stolen items, it is your parents that will have to protect their identity. – mhoran_psprep May 24 '19 at 10:01
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    @glglgl why? Posterity? – quid May 24 '19 at 14:54
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Given that this involves the theft of government documents, I would consider Zander Ins. Identity theft. First off, it is cheaper, $13 per month for both mom and dad rather than 20 for just dad. And it provides more features. From their site:

We cover financial fraud, medical ID theft, tax fraud, criminal ID theft, social security fraud, child ID theft, benefits and employment fraud and title fraud.

The experian plan does not seem to offer things that would benefit your dad. I would mostly be worried about title fraud. Does dad bank with his auto insurance company (like USAA)? If so, I would be a bit concerned about that. They may attempt to social engineer their way into the banking side by using the insurance information.

Also I would have the insurance company change the policy information. As the thieves could, presumably, use his insurance card information for accident fraud.

All in all, I don't think this is terrible. There is added anxiety with dad being unreachable for a few days, but you are being a good son.

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