The Automobile Club of Southern California’s Inglewood-Ladera branch will be providing free anti-theft Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etching for car windows from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16.
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 window VIN etchings are small, but visible enough to deter thieves, according to law enforcement officials.
The Auto Club, the California Highway Patrol Southern Division and National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) are co-hosting the event in the Auto Club Inglewood-Ladera branch parking lot, 1234 Centinela Ave. They also will offer theft prevention as well as vehicle burglary 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. There were 555 vehicle thefts in Inglewood in 2011, according to Inglewood Police.
The Auto Club and allied 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, 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.