VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) etching, a unique method of deterring auto theft, will be offered to drivers from 10 to 2 p.m. on April 6 in the Walmart parking lot on Liberia Avenue in Manassas, according to information posted on the city of Manassas website.
Police say VIN etching is one of the most effective means of deterring vehicle theft.
Here's how it works: a chemical solution is used to engrave the vehicle's VIN on its windows. Putting the VIN on the windows is a deterrent because a thief must remove and replace every piece of glass in the vehicle if they want to profit from the sale of the stolen vehicle or its parts. Police investigators say this is time-consuming and expensive, police said.
It takes less than 15 minutes to have a VIN etched into the glass and it causes no damage.
VIN etching can cost several hundred dollars at car dealerships, but police are doing it all for free on through the Virginia State Police's H.E.A.T. program. The event is hosted in collaboration with Prince William County and Manassas City Police.
According to the Virginia Uniform Crime Reporting Program, 76 percent of all motor vehicle thefts reported in Virginia occur in the Tidewater, Richmond and Northern Virginia areas of the Commonwealth. Thefts are most likely to occur during weekends in the warmer months between May and August, police said.
Have you heard of VIN etching? Is your vehicle etched? Tell us about it in the comments.