Victoria police work to scratch out auto theft

Chris Guerra, crime prevention officer for the Victoria Police Department, uses a template and acid to etch the VINs on car windows at Parkway Church. The process takes about 15 minutes and is designed to deter thieves from stealing the vehicle.

Drivers will have the opportunity to receive free VIN etching services from the Victoria Police Department.

From 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, drivers can take their cars to Parkway Church, 4802 N. John Stockbauer Drive, in Victoria for etching, according to a department news release.

Only registered owners are eligible, and they must bring a current driver’s license and proof of vehicle insurance. A VIN, or vehicle identification number, is a unique identification number normally found on a plate near a vehicle’s dashboard. Car thieves sometimes replace the plates and their numbers with counterfeits. VIN etching is a process where the number is engraved on a vehicle’s windows. If a thief then steals the vehicle, the windows must be replaced and glass destroyed, making theft much more difficult.

“This will cost the thief time and money, so when the thief sees the etching he will move on to another vehicle,” the news release states. Etching can also increase a vehicle’s resale value or prompt some insurance companies to offer discounts.

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