Allentown VINetching — Free & Open to the Public

May 21, 2016
9am - 1pm
Whitehall Township Public Works Building at 3219 MacArthur Road

The Lehigh County Auto Theft and Insurance Fraud Task Force has scheduled a free Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)-etching event in Whitehall Township on Saturday, May 21, 2016.

The event is open to all vehicle owners in Lehigh County, and there is no limit on the number of vehicles that motorists can bring to the event.

VIN etching is the process of chemically etching a vehicle’s unique identification number on all windows and sunroofs.  The process does not harm the windows and doesn’t detract from the appearance of the vehicle.

Detectives who do the VIN engraving, which takes minutes, use special software and a dot matrix printer to create stencils with the identification number on them.  The stencils then are applied to each of the vehicle’s windows and are dabbed 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.

Detectives usually do VIN engraving on about 80 vehicles per event. Task Force Detective Sgt. Salvatore Aprile said that vehicle owners can save money by going to the free VIN-etching events, which are held several times a year in the Lehigh Valley. Car dealerships offer similar etching services as an option, but those can cost between $100 and $300, Aprile said.

Aprile said that the etching is a simple way to deter thieves from stealing a vehicle.  If someone steals a VIN-etched vehicle, the thief will have to replace all the windows or deface the glass to remove the etching so the vehicle can’t be identified as being stolen, according to Aprile. “Because it is more trouble for them, thieves are less likely to steal vehicles that have their windows and sunroofs engraved,” Aprile said. “At this free event, 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.”

For more information, contact Debbie Garlicki, Executive Aide, Office of the Lehigh County District Attorney, (610) 782-3230

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