Bot Usage

Here we will explain how to use our Telegram bot to your benefit.

Private Chat

You can start a private chat with the @stolenvehicles_bot in Telegram.

Simply open Telegram, then tap on the pencil icon, then tap on the search icon, and type in @stolenvehicles_bot.

Once you have started the private chat, tap on the "/start" button at the bottom of the screen. You will receive a welcome message including instructions on how to search for a stolen vehicle.

In a private chat, you do not have to use any special commands or tag the bot, to chat with the bot. Every message you send (as you would to your friends) is read by the bot and based on the text you provide in your message, the bot will determine if you are asking it a question or not and try to provide an appropriate response.

To search for a vehicle, simply type in the registration number or the VIN number or the engine number. The bot will check our database to see if it can find any records that match those values and if it does, it will return the information. If nothing is found, you will also receive a message telling you that no information was found.

In a private chat, you cannot add a vehicle into our database.

Group Chat

If you run a Telegram group, you can add our bot into your group and use it to import BOLO messages into our database or to provide information on stolen vehicles in our database.

In your group, tap on your group name, then tap on "Add Member". Search for @stolenvehicles_bot and then add the bot.

If you would like to add a stolen vehicle into our database, you simply type a message in the group starting with "BOLO:". You must include the vehicle make, colour and South African license plate number. You do not need to tag the bot in this message.


BOLO: Red VW Polo stolen from Fourways Mall at 14:00. Reg: AA00BBGP

Once you have sent a message such as the one above, the bot will add the vehicle into our database and send out an alert to our own Stolen Vehicles Telegram channel and to anyone that has subscribed to our email alerts.

If someone in the group wants to check our database to see if a vehicle is stolen, they should type a message in the group and tag the bot, followed buy the license plate number or the VIN number or the engine number.


@stolenvehicles_bot aa00bbgp

After sending this message, the bot will know that the person is specifically requesting information from it and will check the database for the license plate, VIN or engine number provided. If a match is found, the results will be returned in the group. If no results are found, the bot will inform the group that no information was found in our database.

A person does not need to use any special commands to communicate with the bot other that tagging the bot in the message being sent in the group.

The bot will never post messages in the group unless someone specifically tagged the bot in their message.

Additional Bot Commands

We have tried to make the bot a bit interesting so try some of the following key words:

@stolenvehicles_bot help

@stolenvehicles_bot hello

@stolenvehicles_bot what does bolo mean

@stolenvehicles_bot who are you

@stolenvehicles_bot how many cars are stolen

@stolenvehicles_bot shut down

@stolenvehicles_bot who created you

There are many more. Simply send any message to the bot to get its reaction.