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HEAT vehicle etching set for Parkway Church

Feb. 21, 2012 at 6:02 p.m.
Updated Feb. 20, 2012 at 8:21 p.m.


IF YOU GO

WHEN: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Parkway Church, 4802 N. John Stockbauer Drive

COST: Free

CONTACT: 361-485-3808

A car is stolen in Texas every five and a half minutes.

The Victoria Police Department Crime Prevention Unit will offer free Vehicle Identification Number etching and enrollment in the Help End Auto Theft Program at Parkway Church on Saturday.

Enrolling in the HEAT program and having your vehicle's identification number etched on your windshield will greatly reduce your chances of becoming a victim of vehicle theft, according to a news release from the Victoria Police Crime Prevention Unit.

HEAT is a statewide vehicle registration program sponsored by the Texas Department of Public Safety that assists law enforcement officials in identifying stolen vehicles.

Any vehicle owner in Texas can register their vehicle to have HEAT decals placed in the front and rear window. The decals authorize law enforcement officers to stop the vehicle anywhere in Texas between the peak vehicle theft hours of 1 and 5 a.m. The vehicle ownership will also be verified anytime the vehicle passes from Texas into Mexico.

Every vehicle is equipped with a vehicle identification number plate on the dash board. These plates are easily replaced with new, fake plates by auto thieves. When the VIN number is etched to the window, a thief has to replace all the windows and dispose of the glass to erase the vehicle's identity. The extra hassle and cost has been shown to decrease the likelihood of auto theft.

Etching may also increase the resale value of your vehicle and some insurance agents offer a discount to vehicles with VIN etching.

A registered owner must be present with a current driver's license and auto insurance to take place in Saturday's event.

HEAT registration and VIN etching is also offered through the Crime Prevention Unit located in the Victoria Mall by appointment.

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