Was Your Car Stolen? Or Even Worse… Was It Recovered?

Nobody wants their car to be stolen. And if it is, most people want it to be recovered. But you NEED TO KNOW THIS: If your car was stolen and recovered – DON’T GET IN IT before having it drug tested and inspected for needles and dangerous substances. Call a trusted body shop immediately. They can help.

Your Car Was Stolen and Recovered

According to Statista, Colorado is currently listed as the state with the highest volume of vehicle thefts in the United States. As we, (Nylund’s) are located just south of Denver, we pay especially close attention to what happens here.

The Dark Side of Recovered Vehicles

It is sad, but necessary that we have to report that almost 90% of all stolen and recovered vehicles end up testing positive for drugs, and in some cases, exposure to those toxic chemicals can have catastrophic impact on your health. This is especially true if you have children, who are far more susceptible to toxic levels of exposure. A study conducted in New Mexico, as reported by KOAT, revealed that nearly 90% of all stolen and recovered vehicles tested positive for methamphetamine, a highly addictive and dangerous drug.

The alarming rate of drug-contaminated vehicles poses a significant risk to unsuspecting individuals who may come into contact with these harmful substances. Even brief exposure to drug residues can have serious health consequences, particularly for vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing health conditions. In addition to methamphetamine, other common drugs found in recovered vehicles include cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl, all of which can be harmful or even fatal in certain circumstances.

drug testing cars

It is essential for vehicle owners to be aware of these risks and take the necessary precautions when dealing with a stolen and recovered vehicle. This includes promptly contacting a professional drug testing and decontamination service to ensure the vehicle is thoroughly inspected and cleaned before being used again. By taking these steps, you can help protect yourself and your loved ones from the hidden dangers lurking within recovered vehicles.

Law enforcement officers from all across the United States are reporting incidents of momentary exposure (typically during a search of stolen and recovered vehicles) to substances such as fentanyl (100 times more powerful than heroin) leading to “highs” and in some cases, severe toxic reactions.  According to Michigan State Police, one of its troopers got sick following exposure to an unknown substance after a traffic stop and only recovered after two doses of Narcan (an opioid-antagonistic narcotic) were administered.

Debates on Methods of Ingestion

There is much debate regarding the method of ingestion (skin absorption, breathing in aerosols, or rubbing one’s eyes with hands covered with drugs) that could possibly lead to overdose just by being in the cabin of a car that has tested positive for drugs. However, what is not up for debate is that reports are coming in from all over the world about such overdoses. In fact, it is becoming increasingly important for vehicle owners to be aware of these risks and take necessary precautions.

One of the major concerns surrounding vehicle contamination is the presence of methamphetamine or “meth.” Meth is a highly addictive and dangerous substance, and its residues can linger in a vehicle long after the substance has been used. The process of vehicle decontamination for meth involves removing all traces of the drug to ensure the safety of future occupants. According to AEI Decon, a professional decontamination company, meth residue can be found on surfaces, within air vents, and even embedded in porous materials such as upholstery.

The potential health risks associated with exposure to meth residues in vehicles are significant. Short-term exposure can cause symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, and respiratory irritation, while long-term exposure may lead to more severe health problems, including damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system. This underscores the importance of properly decontaminating a vehicle that has been exposed to meth or other drugs before allowing occupants to use it again.

In light of these risks, it is crucial for vehicle owners to be vigilant and take necessary precautions when recovering a stolen vehicle. This includes having the vehicle inspected for drug residues and ensuring it undergoes proper decontamination if any are found. By doing so, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from the potential dangers of drug exposure in a recovered vehicle.

Additionally, if your car was stolen and recovered, it is very possible to have dangerous drug paraphernalia lying around as well.  Things like needles, broken glass and sharp metal have been found in a large percentage of recovered vehicles, and can be hiding between cushions or under seats.  And we probably don’t need to explain the risks associated with getting stabbed or cut by such items used by people using illicit substances. Have your shop technician or the drug testing facility inspect and clear any potential harmful materials.

What you should do if your car is stolen and recovered:

DO NOT ACCEPT your vehicle “as-is”.  Before you take your vehicle back from the law enforcement agency that recovered it, call on a trusted body shop or collision center. They should be well versed in the necessary procedures, and are able to line up a an inspection with the proper drug testing company.

When faced with the task of decontaminating a recovered stolen vehicle, selecting a licensed and certified drug residue hygienist is crucial to ensure proper vehicle cleaning and compliance with state regulations. If your car is stolen and recovered, this is a must! We use The Vertex Companies to provide our certified hygienists/

Depending upon whether there are drugs present, what kind of drugs, and what levels of severity (based on government standards), your car may actually end up being totaled. Again, a reputable body shop will be able to help interact with the insurance company to determine any necessary course of action.

If you have any questions after reading this article, we are happy to answer them if we’re able.  Contact us here, and let’s see if we can be of service.


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