Woodbury police offer auto VIN etching on Nov. 6

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:51

    CENTRAL VALLEY-The Woodbury Police Department will etch the VIN numbers of automobiles of town residents on Saturday, Nov. 6, as a way to cut down on car theft. Each car is issued a unique vehicle identification number (VIN) by its manufacturer. This number is required when registering a vehicle and appears in several places on a car, including the dashboard and driver's door panel. The VIN also is used by the police to identify stolen cars and locate registered owners. VIN etching involves the use of a stencil and glass etching paste to etch each vehicle's VIN onto its windshield and windows. This makes a car or truck less attractive to thieves because it means that they will have to replace the glass (at considerable cost) before they can sell the stolen vehicle. Similarly, auto parts buyers will not want to buy parts that have identification numbers. VIN etching usually takes about 20 minutes per vehicle. Utilizing a computer, dot matrix printer or typewriter and software provided by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, police department personnel can create VIN stencils for each vehicle registered in the program. The software links into NICB's VIN Assist Program which verifies the accuracy of the VIN number and may result in locating salvaged vehicles whose VIN's have been altered and sold illegally. Some insurance companies offer discounts off their premium for VIN Etching. This will be the third time the town has offered this free service; last time, about 30 residents took advantage of it. Woodbury police will be conducting the VIN etching at the town highway garage on Route 105 behind Town Hall from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is important to bring a valid registration and insurance card.