Sep 18, 2015 5:46 PM

NH1 News Investigates Keeping Your Car: VIN etching urged to deter NH car thieves

CONCORD – Two to three vehicles are stolen each and every day here in New Hampshire.

“Stolen automobiles are the number one crime in this country,” says Dan Goodman of the American Automobile Association.

Now, we show you one way to make it sure it doesn’t happen to you.

It’s called VIN Etching.

Once the VIN number of your car has been scanned into a portable device, the VIN is then printed on decals and then involves chemically stenciling the VIN number permanently onto your windows.

As we finish summer, it’s important to remember that it’s the season for thefts with most cars stolen in July and August.

“You know, criminals are lazy by nature and don't like to be cold,” says Portland, Maine Police Chief Michael Sauschuck. Adding, “In most cases, it's a crime of opportunity.”

Dan Goodman of AAA says, “VIN etching acts as a major theft deterrent. When your windows are etched, thieves are less likely to steal your car.”

The process t takes about 15 minutes.

Professionals charge about $100, while you can purchase a do-it-yourself kit for about $25.

“You're seeing more dealerships and auto mechanics offer this service because individuals are becoming more concerned about theft,” Goodman says.

This may sound good but we pressed further with our questions and asked if it really worked.

Goodman says parts of the automotive industry are catching on.

“A professional thief always notices or looks around the vehicle to make sure there are no VIN numbers on the vehicle,” he says.

A recent study shows three out of four cars that have VIN etching are less likely to be stolen, while eight out of ten cars that are VIN etched are more likely to be recovered.”

Officials say crooks stole roughly 950 cars here in the Granite State back in 2013 and nationwide, a vehicle is stolen about every 30 seconds.

So if you want to make sure your car stays put, AAA says VIN etching might just be for you.

AAA of New England is teaming up with the Nashua Police Department for a free VIN etching this coming Monday and it will be open to the public.

The VIN etching service will be available at the AAA Northern New England Nashua branch office (379 Amherst St., Nashua, NH) on Monday, September 21st, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. In addition to the VIN etching event the AAA office will be hosting a member appreciation event with light refreshments, door prizes and complimentary battery testing.


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