Triple-A offers VIN etchings to help reduce auto theft - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Triple-A offers VIN etchings to help reduce auto theft

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NILES, Ohio -

According to the FBI, more than 750,000 cars were stolen in 2016. 

One of the quickest things a car owner can do to help keep their vehicle safe is to get a VIN etching, which is a copy of the vehicle's unique identification number found in the door of vehicles.

VIN etchings can cost up to a few hundred dollars at dealerships, but each year Triple-A chooses several locations to offer them for free.

Niles was host to one of these sites this week and Triple-A etched dozens of cars at no charge.

"It's very popular among members they really like this possible added protection to their vehicles," said Triple-A safety adviser Lori Cook.

Not only is it popular, but it is also effective in deterring auto-thieves.

"We do these throughout our territory and what we are hearing from law enforcement that we are working with is that more and more professional thieves are actually looking for the VIN etching in the window, and when they see that VIN has been etched in the window, they say, forget it, I'll just go to the next car," said Triple-A spokesman Jim Garrity

A thief would would have to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars to replace the car windows to be able to sell it.

Because these etchings yield such positive results, some car insurance companies even offer five to 15 percent discounts for customers who have the etchings.

If you can't attend any of the Triple-A free etchings, you can purchase DIY acid-etching kits from sites such as Amazon for less than $20. 

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