Broken Arrow, OK asked in Criminal Law and Federal Crimes for Oklahoma

Q: If the car was on when stolen does that make it “ok” for a criminal to steal it? Or can the criminal be held accountable

I’m a delivery driver and we leave our cars on when we’re busy. My car was stolen while I was inside. Yes the guy was caught but when I mentioned suing the parents to a friend. (The kid is 13). He told me that I could lose because it is my fault for leaving my car running. Although, yes I could have taken my keys out. When we are busy we leave our cars on because we are just running in and out. Also cars get stolen off and locked so I feel me leaving my car running is not a valid point for someone to steal it. Let alone he is old enough to know better. I guess I just want to know if I have a chance to win if I decide to sue. Which I only plan on doin if they refuse to give me the money for the damage caused. The boy hit another driver and drove my car down a hill and crashed into a tree.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Charles Watts
Charles Watts
  • Licensed in Oklahoma

A: You should consult with an attorney to go through the specifics in more detail. There are other avenues other than larceny of a vehicle such as unauthorized use of a vehicle or even trespass. All issues have potential areas that have defenses, but you need an attorney to guide you through the process, especially since there was damages to third party property. Your insurance will most likely fall back to you, because you were contributory by leaving it running and the keys in it, but that is different than the civil case.

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