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LAPD Will Soon Allow You To Report Your Car Break-in Online

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If you've ever had a thief punch out your car window, you might have figured it was too much of a hassle to call police for what was in all likelihood a lost cause.But now the LAPD is planning to roll out a program that would help Angelenos file police reports for lower-level crimes just car break-ins, according to The Los Angeles Daily News (via The Huffington Post). The initiative has been in the works for months, but the City Council passed a motion on Thursday telling the LAPD to go forward with the plan.

California State University Northridge (CSUN) already uses the system, according to Northridge-Chatsworth Patch. Victims of lower-level crimes can go online, fill out a report and then print it out all for free. (This makes it easy to submit to your insurance company, too.)

These police reports are only appropriate for lower-level, nonviolent crimes, when the suspect is long-gone and there isn't much evidence left behind. If the crime involves violence, a missing person case or it's a hate crime, you'll still need to talk to a police officer on the phone or in person.

All the reports are reviewed by officers before they're signed. They will be submitted under penalty of perjury, so you could get in trouble if you make something up or decide to pull a prank—the same way that you could if you did the same thing when calling 9-1-1.

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LAPD Lt. Tom Murrell told The Daily News that he expects this means the department will be hearing from more victims of lower-level crimes, which is a good thing. Officers say that sometimes when they show up to report a low-level crime in a neighborhood, sometimes neighbors will take that opportunity to report the same issue that they otherwise wouldn't. The LAPD hopes lowering the bar will make it easy to tackle low-level crime waves.

It's not clear how much the program could cost, and the LAPD hasn't even put the system out for a bid yet. So it will likely be months before the program is rolled out.