VIN Etching To Protect Your Car From Theft

The Wichita Falls Police Department's Community Service Unit etched VIN numbers into the windshields and windows of resident's vehicles Saturday to help deter thieves from stealing the vehicles.

"The more items on a vehicle that are marked, the less likely that a criminal is going to want that vehicle, just because of all the extra work," said Officer Jeff Hughes. "If a criminal wants to steal a car and use it for parts, the windows now are going to be useless, because they have a VIN number. If they don't want to sell it for parts, and they want to use the vehicle... they can't do it because every window is marked."

Officers printed out the VIN numbers on stickers and placed them on every glass surface of each vehicle. Then, they coated the stickers with a marker containing ammonia. After 5-7 minutes, the ammonia eats into the glass, etching in the VIN number.

"It's permanently etched. You know, about the only thing (thieves) could do would be to probably go deep into the glass, but once they do that, they've damaged the glass and the glass is then worthless," said Officer Hughes.

About 40 people lined up in their vehicles Saturday morning at the Nissan of Wichita Falls to take part in the free service. WFPD officers said they see about 40 stolen vehicles in the Falls each month.