Protect Your Vehicle From Auto Theft With VIN Etching

Cars line up for engraving at last year’s event.

by Carla Bream

The Roanoke City Sheriff’s Office, the Roanoke Police Department and the Virginia State Police HEAT program are co-sponsoring a free VIN Etching for all vehicles on Saturday, June 23rd at the Valley View Target store parking lot located at 4802 Valley View Blvd from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Roanokers with a vehicle of any kind qualify for this free VIN etching. It doesn’t matter if your car, truck, van or motorcycle is old or new, foreign or domestic, it is a candidate for auto theft.   Protect your vehicle by getting it VIN etched.  It is simple, fast and free.

VIN stands for vehicle identification number.  The federal government assigns every vehicle an identification number.  The HEAT (Help Eliminate Auto Theft) program etches the VIN number into all the windows of the vehicle.  If the vehicle is stolen, all the windows have to be replaced, at great expense to the thief, thereby discouraging them from theft in the first place.

The Roanoke City Sheriff’s Office wants to dispel some common auto theft myths such as no one is going to steal my car or my car is too old to get stolen.  Your older vehicle is a target because it is easier to steal than newer models. The top three stolen cars are the 1994 Honda Accord, 1995 Honda Civic and the 1991 Toyota Camry.  Older models of cars and trucks are popular with thieves because of the value of their parts.

“They steal foreign cars and I drive a truck made in the USA,” is another myth about auto theft.  Numbers four, five and six on the most stolen list are all pickup trucks, the 1999 Chevrolet, 1997 Ford 150 and 2004 Dodge Ram.

Another myth: “Nobody is going to steal a van.”  Number seven on the list of most stolen vehicles is the 2000 Dodge Caravan.  No matter what the model or make, your vehicle could be targeted for auto theft.

Protect your vehicle with VIN etching and you might qualify for a discount on your insurance as well.  The VIN etching is fast and free for all cars, trucks, vans and motorcycles on Saturday.  No appointment necessary!