FREE VINeching –– Whitehall Township

May 12, 2018
9am - 1pm
Whitehall Township Public Works Building, 3219 MacArthur Road, Allentown

District Attorney Jim Martin has announced that 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 12, 2018.   The event will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Whitehall Township Public Works Building at 3219 MacArthur Road. The event is open to all vehicle owners in Lehigh County, and there is no limit to 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 etching 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 stated. 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.

DA Martin said, “At this free event, vehicle owners can protect their property and have peace of mind that they took an active step to help prevent becoming a victim of vehicle theft.  I want to commend Whitehall Township and the Auto Theft Task Force for their part in discouraging crime and protecting Lehigh County citizens.”


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