(BAKERSFIELD, Nov. 11, 2009) – The Automobile Club of Southern California’s Bakersfield branch office will be providing free anti-theft Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etching for vehicle windows on Wednesday, Nov. 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The general public can receive VIN etching on their vehicle windows to make them a less likely target for car theft. Car VIN window etchings are small, but visible enough to deter thieves.
The California Highway Patrol, Bakersfield Police Dept, and National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) are co-hosting the event in the parking lot of the Auto Club’s Bakersfield branch office, 1500 Commercial Way, 93309. They also will offer auto theft prevention tips to car owners.
Bakersfield's Metropolitan Statistical Area (a designation from the U.S. Census Bureau) has the fifth-highest number of vehicle thefts per capita in the U.S., according to the NICB. Law-enforcement officials say VIN etching helps deter car theft because VIN-etched car parts and vehicles 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, including small electronics, wallets, check books, credit cards, personal paperwork or any personal identification.
- Bring electronics and personal items into your home or office 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 vehicles in high-crime areas.
- Never hide a spare ignition key in the vehicle. Remove keys from under floor mats, visor, etc.
- Whenever possible, park your vehicle in a secure garage.
- Never leave the vehicle running 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.