Did you know that California is the state with the most stolen cars? To help address this problem, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Highland branch and local law enforcement will provide free anti-car theft Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etching for car windows on Thursday, Oct. 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Anyone can receive the VIN etching on their windows to make them a less likely target for car theft. Car window VIN etchings are small, but visible enough to deter thieves, according to law enforcement officials.
The event is being co-hosted by the Auto Club and the San Bernardino County Auto Theft Task Force (SANCATT), a multi-jurisdictional task force which includes the city police agencies, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Dept., San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, the California Highway Patrol, the City of San Bernardino, the Department of Motor Vehicles and National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
Members and non-members with current vehicle registrations can attend the event at the Auto Club Highland branch parking lot, 27889 Baseline St., 92346-3325. The branch telephone is 909-381-2211. The agencies also will offer car theft and vehicle burglary prevention tips to owners.
Car theft is the number one property crime in America. The NICB, law enforcement and National Highway Transportation Safety Agency say the permanent engraving of a vehicle’s federally registered VIN helps deter car theft because VIN-etched car windows prevent thieves from switching the dashboard VIN plate to mask the car’s identity, and marked car parts can’t be sold as easily.
The Auto Club and co-hosting agencies’ 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, purses, wallets, checkbooks, 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.
- Never hide a spare ignition key in your vehicle, including 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 grocery store or shopping mall.