In the Saintsbook, there are a number of side quests to complete, including Vehicle Thefts. For those, a chop shop owner picks a type of vehicle for you to steal, and rewards you for bringing one to their shop.

Does the vehicle actually have to be stolen? For example, if I stumble across an unowned Shark, can I take that one to Rigg's shop, or do I have to take one of the Sharks that are highlighted during the side quest?

  • I'm working on researching this and annoyingly enough, my results are inconsistent so far. I was able to complete a Vehicle Theft before taking the actual mission in one instance, but wasn't in another. I'll answer when I have something more solid. – FAE Nov 23 '11 at 2:27
  • I put down what I've found as well; hopefully our answers overlap enough to get all the details. I think some of it depends on the mission ... – Dave DuPlantis Nov 23 '11 at 2:50

I've been working on these and I've found it annoyingly inconsistent.

As others have pointed out, sometimes you can take a vehicle from your garage. There doesn't appear to be any consistency about when this is possible and when it is not. I have found that for missions where there is not a requirement to go to a certain district, it seems to take a vehicle from your garage more often.

Most of the time though, you have to travel to the marked district and steal one of the cars that show up on your radar with a white "car" outline. I've found cars before the point at which I entered the marked district and driven them into the district before (both ones I already had in my garage and others that I'd just stolen along the way) and the game sometimes doesn't count these cars. You can get out and back in, and it still wants you to drive around until one pops up on the radar.

In some cases, there's a very specific car you must steal - one of the later Humanitarian Aid missions, for example, wants you to steal a particular Falcon VTOL and will only accept this VTOL, even though there are 4 parked in a row in the area they send you to. In many cases if you've entered the area in a flying vehicle you'll immediately get a "the target vehicle was destroyed!" message, even if you're over top the target vehicle and can see it clearly from the air.

One thing that I've found that works for most cars is the 'police notoriety wipe' function in your phone. If you've unlocked this, you can generally notoriety wipe yourself once you're in the car and proceed to the drop off point relatively unmolested by the police - just stay in the car. The police will tend to fire on you and frequently destroy the car 90% of the way to the chop shop, so they're sort of the biggest threat in some of these missions.

The other important upgrade is the "nitrous everywhere" upgrade, which can make some of the larger vehicles slightly less annoying to drive. Just watch out, as sometimes hitting another car in a large vehicle while firing nitrous causes it to explode, or causes you to eject yourself from the car, thereby causing you to get your notoriety back.

The one major exception to this is the tank - driving the tank increases your notoriety steadily as you go, so make sure you have both notoriety wipe options if you can. (one is a story unlock that you can opt not to take, and the other is an upgrade in the phone)

Also note that especially when taking cars to the airport, the GPS lies and takes you on the worst route possible. Check your map if you're driving to the airport - this is especially important during the tank theft.

  • The nitrous thing is what brought on my discovery that getting back in the car triggers the notoriety boost: I popped through the windshield after hitting a divider with the garbage truck. And yes, the GPS system has no clue how the airport works. It'll zig-zag you through every alley in the city, but can't imagine that you can drive through a gate onto the tarmac. – Dave DuPlantis Dec 13 '11 at 18:11
  • Yeah, I can't tell you how many times I was inches from the drop off point and the tank exploded, before I just realized if I took a left where it told me to take a right, I'd be there in half the total distance. ARGH! And then the boat thefts - so far I've only stolen a couple but it wants me to drive the boat up onto the street and across a couple of highways before I get to the drop off point. It will also repeatedly tell me to get out of the water and go up a flight of stairs in my frikkin jetski to get where I'm going. – agent86 Dec 13 '11 at 18:15

Some of these missions are asking for a specific vehicle. The reason for this is that you're expected to deal with a gang at the scene. The peterliner is one of these, as is the Torch (taken from a Deckers location) and the Vulture chopper (taken off the Luchidores near 3Count). There could be more but these are the ones I remember off the top of my head. Generally speaking though, if you meet resistance at the location, it's probably a specific vehicle. In all other cases, it's whatever you have available.

So; Have a version of it in your garage. Take it to the desired suburb in the Saints book, and activate the mission.

If you have the blue line taking you back to the chop shop, you're fine. Otherwise, the job is specific. The good news is that for specific vehicles, they're always in the same location. Always. I spent 20 mins driving around trying to find one of these one day, but can head exactly to it now when doing the task again.

These vehicles you have to get back safely, and as has already been stated, ignoring the GPS around the airport is a big factor in success.

For other vehicles, if you're getting too beat up, here's a handy hint. If you have one in your garage, get out before the vehicle blows, and walk close to the chop shop. Then call up your homies to deliver the vehicle to you. Then you just hop in, the blue line reappears, and you drive it the rest of the way and you're done.

For the boat missions, especially the Commander; obviously just ignore the blue line. I normally head in a counter-clockwise heading around the island with the Commander (the Miami can go via the canal) and just keep driving! Don't stop to blow up the pursuers, they'll shoot you down every time because they just keep respawning. The initially hardest one I had to do was the piper plane, but you don't have to safely land it on the dock. All you have to do is a kamikaze death dive on the landing point, and when you're close enough it counts.

The piper by the way, appears to be another of those 'specific' vehicles.

Hope this helps.


Pretty sure any vehicle will count, stolen or not. The game doesn't normally differentiate.

  • I'm wondering because in this particular instance, I took the Shark ... but I did not start the quest until after I boarded it, and the return-to-chop-shop part of the quest didn't start until I stole a different one. – Dave DuPlantis Nov 20 '11 at 5:48
  • Yea i've ran into a similar situation, i think it has more to do with the fact that you started the quest after you were in the car. – Jimmypotts Nov 21 '11 at 0:51
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    I don't believe this is accurate; please see the answer that I posted for further details. – agent86 Dec 17 '11 at 16:04

What I discovered is that for challenges that ask for any X (as opposed to challenges that ask for a specific X), in most cases, you do not need to steal a vehicle; a found vehicle or a vehicle you already own will work equally well.

If you are driving the desired type of vehicle when you start a Vehicle Theft quest, you still have to drive it into the area where the vehicles can be found. As soon as you do, your GPS will direct you to the chop shop, and as a bonus, if you are driving a vehicle you own, because you aren't actually stealing it, the cops don't care. However, this will take it out of your crib inventory. (That's a good thing: turning in a vehicle you own is enough of an exploit.) Driving a vehicle that you found still counts as theft: if the police see you, they will chase you just as if you had stolen a vehicle marked on the map.

This can be tricky when the vehicle in question is a boat, as I mentioned in my comment about the Shark: neither the Shark that I found nor the Miami that I owned counted toward the challenge. In both cases, I had to use a marked boat.

Note that the notoriety boost (to three, four, or five stars, depending on your progress with that chop shop) applies every time you enter a stolen vehicle. If you are in the vehicle and call in a notoriety wipe, and you exit the vehicle prior to dropping it at the chop shop (say, by becoming a windshield cannonball), entering it again will trigger the notoriety boost again.

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