Every sheriff, chief of police, or member of the patrol having knowledge of a stolen vehicle shall immediately furnish the department with full information in connection therewith. The department, whenever it receives a report of the theft or conversion of such a vehicle, whether owned in this or any other state, together with the make and manufacturer's serial number or motor number, if applicable, shall make a distinctive record thereof and file the same in the numerical order of the manufacturer's serial number with the index records of such vehicle of such make. The department shall prepare a report listing such vehicles stolen and recovered as disclosed by the reports submitted to it, and the report shall be distributed as it may deem advisable. In the event of the receipt from any county treasurer of a copy of a certificate of title to such vehicle, the department shall immediately notify the rightful owner thereof and the county treasurer who issued such certificate of title, and if upon investigation it appears that such certificate of title was improperly issued, the department shall immediately cancel the same. In the event of the recovery of such stolen or converted vehicle, the owner shall immediately notify the department, which shall cause the record of the theft or conversion to be removed from its file.