Did you know that the top two months for vehicle theft are July and August? And that California is the state with the most stolen cars? To help address this problem, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Anaheim Hills branch will provide free anti-car theft Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etching for car windows on Wednesday, Aug. 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is being held the week of the annual National Night Out observance that raises community crime prevention awareness.
Anyone can receive the VIN etching on their windows to make them a less likely target for car theft which occurs every 44 seconds in the U.S. Car window VIN etchings are small, but visible enough to deter thieves, according to law enforcement officials.
The Auto Club, the Anaheim Police Dept., the California Highway Patrol-Southern Division and National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) are co-hosting the event in the Auto Club branch parking lot, 5500 E. Santa Ana Canyon Road 92807-3124. They also will offer car theft and car burglary prevention tips to owners.
Car theft is the number one property crime in America. Law-enforcement and the National Highway Transportation Safety Agency (NHTSA) 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 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.