The Automobile Club of Southern California’s San Diego branch office will be providing free anti-theft Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etching for vehicle windows on Thursday, May 13, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Both members and non-members can receive the VIN etching on their vehicle windows to make their cars a less likely target for theft. Car VIN window etchings are small, bur visible enough to deter thieves.
The California Highway Patrol and San Diego Police Department are co-hosting the event in the parking lot of the Auto Club, 2440 Hotel Circle North, and will offer auto theft prevention tips to car owners.
San Diego County has the fourth-highest number of vehicle thefts per capita in the U.S., according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Law-enforcement officials say VIN etching helps deter car theft because VIN-etched car parts cannot be sold as easily by thieves.
The Auto Club’s top tips to prevent vehicle burglary and theft include:
- Always lock your vehicle with the windows closed. Never leave valuables inside the car, especially not in clear view, including small electronics, wallets, check books, credit cards, personal paperwork or any personal identification.
- Bring your electronics and personal items into your home or office with you whenever possible.
- Use anti-theft or automatic tracking devices. If your vehicle wasn’t equipped with an alarm or hidden tracking device when purchased, have one installed.
- Never leave your keys in your vehicle, even at a gas station.
- Park your vehicle in a well-lit area at night. Don’t leave your vehicle in a high-crime area.
- Never hide a spare ignition key in your vehicle. Remove keys from under floor mats, sun visor, etc.
- Whenever possible, park your vehicle in a secure garage.
- Never leave the vehicle running at any time when you’re not in it. This includes your driveway, while picking up friends, or while at a gas station, grocery store, or shopping mall.