The Automobile Club of Southern California’s Santa Barbara branch will etch the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on vehicle windows for free as a theft deterrent on Wednesday, June 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Both members and non-members can receive the VIN etching on their vehicle windows to make them a less likely target for car theft. Car VIN window etchings are small, bur visible enough to deter thieves.
The Auto Club, the California Highway Patrol Coastal Division, Santa Barbara Police Dept. and National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) are co-hosting the event in the Macy’s lower level parking lot of La Cumbre Plaza, 136 S. Hope Ave., on the north side of the mall. They also will offer theft prevention tips to car owners.
Car theft is the number one property crime in America. Law-enforcement officials say the permanent engraving of a vehicle’s federally registered VIN etching helps deter car theft because VIN-etched car parts cannot be sold as easily by thieves.
The Auto Club and local law enforcement’s 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, personal and financial 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 when not at home.
- 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.