Car theft prevention programs set

April 17, 2010 at 9:01 p.m.
Updated April 16, 2010 at 11:17 p.m.

A free H.E.A.T. registration and vehicle identification number etching, to help end auto theft, will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 5, at Parkway Baptist Church, 4802 N. John Stockbauer Drive.

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

Officials said participating in the theft prevention program will greatly reduce the car owner's chances of becoming a victim of vehicle theft.

HEAT (Help End Auto Theft): 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 in the HEAT program. A vehicle registered with the HEAT program will have decals placed on the front and rear window. Statistics show that most vehicles are stolen between the hours of 1 and 5 a.m. These decals authorize law enforcement officers to stop the vehicle during those hours to verify ownership.

The vehicle ownership will also be verified anytime the vehicle passes from Texas into Mexico.

VIN Etching: 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 windows are etched with the VIN number, a thief has to replace all the windows and dispose of the glass.

This will cost the thief time and money, so when the thief sees the etching he will move on to another vehicle. Etching may also increase the resale value of your vehicle and some insurances offer a discount (check with your insurance agent).

You will need to have a current driver's license; automobile insurance and the registered owner must be present.

HEAT and VIN are offered from 9 a.m. to noon every Thursday at the Victoria Mall Substation. Call for an appointment.

For more information contact The Victoria Police Department Crime Prevention Unit at 361- 485-3808, or stop by the office in the Victoria Mall next to Chic-fil-A.



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