Allentown & AAA East Penn VINetching Event

AAA East Central Offers Free VIN Etching as Auto Theft Deterrent

Car theft is the number one property crime in America; AAA helps combat

AAA East Central, along with the Lehigh County Auto Theft Task Force will be providing free anti-car theft Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etching for car windows on Tuesday, September 20 from 11 AM- 2 PM at AAA East Penn, located at 2072 Downyflake Lane, Allentown, PA.

Law-enforcement officials say the permanent engraving of a vehicle’s federally registered VIN etching helps deter car theft because VIN-etched car windows prevent car thieves from switching the VIN number plate on the dashboard to mask the car’s identity, and cars and their marked parts cannot be sold as easily by thieves.

“Thieves generally avoid VIN-etched vehicles because all of the glass must be stripped and replaced before the vehicle can be unloaded or resold, according to Theresa Podguski, Legislative Affairs Director, AAA East Central. “Now, vehicle owners can protect their property and have peace of mind that they took an active step to prevent becoming a victim of vehicle theft,” she adds.

AAA members and the general public can receive the VIN etching on their vehicle windows to make them a less likely target for car theft, and there is no limit on the number of vehicles motorists can bring to the event.  Car window VIN etchings are small, but visible enough to deter thieves, according to law enforcement officials. The process does not harm windows and doesn’t detract from the appearance of the vehicle.

Several detectives from the Task Force will be on hand to do the VIN engraving, which only takes minutes. A special software and printer is used to create stencils with the identification number on them.  The stencils then are applied to each of the vehicle’s windows and are treated with an acid solution.  The stencils are removed, and the glass is cleaned with glass cleaner.  The number remains behind and is lightly etched into the glass. The devices were donated by the Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority and the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

AAA and the Lehigh County Task Force recommend the following tips to prevent vehicle burglary and theft:

  • 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

Vehicle owners who participate in this event will receive a free auto theft task force gift, and the chance to save up to $300, which certain car dealerships charge for the same service.

AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 82 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia servicing more than 2.7 million members.


For More Information Contact Theresa Podguski, Legislative Affairs Director at 610-778-3303 or

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