Free event scheduled

A free Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etching event is scheduled Saturday in Rockwall.

Multiple agencies are teaming up this weekend to offer local residents a way to help protect their vehicles from theft.

The Rockwall Police Department, Texas Automobile Burglary & Theft Prevention Authority and the North Texas Auto Theft Task Force are offering a free Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etching event from 10 a.m. a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday on the parking lot of Dick's Sporting Goods, 1005 Interstate 30 in Rockwall.

VIN etching is the process of acid stenciling a vehicle’s 17-digit identification number onto the window glass of the vehicle. The stencil is relatively small and does not hamper the view through the windows in any way. Because the etching is done at the bottom of the windows, it is not obviously noticeable and does not take away from the attractiveness of the vehicle. A sample will be available for those who’d like to see what VIN etching looks like before they have it done.

VIN etching serves several purposes. First, many thieves will steal a vehicle and change its identity by removing the VIN plate on the dashboard and replacing it with a different one. They will then sell the stolen vehicle to an unsuspecting buyer. By having the identification number placed on additional parts of a vehicle, thieves who might want to change the identity will be deterred knowing they will also have to change out all the windows in addition to the dashboard VIN plate, an investment most thieves will not make.

Second, should the vehicle ever be stolen, law enforcement will have an easier time recovering and identifying the vehicle since the identification number is readily available on multiple parts of the car.

Third, VIN etching qualifies some insurance consumers for a Level I insurance discount, which can result in a 2% to 10% discount on the comprehensive portion of an insurance premium, as long as the vehicle owner does not already have a theft deterrent on their vehicle that qualifies for the Level I discount.

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