Whitehall-Coplay Press

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

VIN-etching event is May 18

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 by CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE in Local News

District Attorney Jim Martin has announced the Lehigh County Auto Theft Task Force has scheduled a free vehicle identification number (VIN)-etching event in Whitehall Township May 18. The event will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Whitehall Township Public Works Building, 3219 MacArthur Road.

The VIN-etching is available 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 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. The process takes approximately five minutes, depending on the number of windows.

VIN etching deters 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.

Task Force Detective Sgt. Salvatore Aprile said 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.

Martin said, “I want to commend Whitehall Township and the auto theft task force for their part in discouraging crime and protecting Lehigh County citizens. I hope residents take advantage of this opportunity to safeguard their vehicles against theft.”