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I recently completed the main storyline of LA Noire, and now I am still playing it to roam the streets and take on the random street crimes that happen.

There are hidden special cars in garages scattered throughout the game, as well the ability to pretty much walk up to any car and commandeer it. When you drive a new car, you are given a little notice that tells you that you've "unlocked" a new car.

However, since only police cars have radios, you won't come across any street crimes. So you can only drive around in them, but LA Noire isn't really set up to have any challenges that are based on driving. As far as I can tell, you literally just drive around a bit in them.

Since I finished the game without ever even knowing hidden cars existed, and only once commandeered a car (and I don't think it was strictly necessary in that situation), I'm not sure I understand why I would want to ever drive any car other than a police car.

Is there anything a player can do with a non-police car? Are they just for "collecting" and that's it?

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There's nothing special to do with regular cars other than collecting them, but you can always use the map to find new or completed street crimes, the radio only lets you to mark a crime on the minimap without opening the map. New crimes will be red, the crime you've marked will be yellow, and completed crimes available for replay will be gray.

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Don't I have to be alerted by radio to know where new crimes are, though? I understand I can see crimes on the main map once they have been broadcast to me, but I'm unaware of any way of having crimes I haven't encountered yet be marked. –  Dave M G Feb 20 '12 at 13:02
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As far as I can tell, all crimes are visible on the map all the time in free play. Do note that there are only 40 crimes total, so it may not be that you're unaware of them, but that there aren't any. A tip will show in the top left corner notifying you that no crimes are left when you start free play, if that is the case. Also, there are different crimes for different desks, so if you have no crimes in arson free play, try a different desk. –  kotekzot Feb 20 '12 at 13:08
    
@DaveMG, if you're going for street crime completion, you might want to visit this question for more details on that particular subject. –  agent86 Feb 20 '12 at 15:45

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