Etched VIN numbers on vehicles could deter thieves

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SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) – AAA Speedway teamed up with Safelite Auto Glass to etch VIN numbers on vehicles.

The program comes as auto thefts in general are down, but police say this time of year and in the winter is when thieves are attracted to vehicles that owners keep running.

“You’re just giving the criminal element an opportunity to take your vehicle,” said Lt. Trent Theobald of the Speedway Police Department.

The program was offered for free. Safelite says if the VIN number is etched onto the windows it could deter thieves who would have to replace every window before the car could be stolen or sold.

“Who’s going to take the time to knock out every window in a car?,” said Damon Houston of Safelite. “Some cars have 7 or 8 windows,” said Houston.

The FBI reports vehicle thefts are down by over 40 percent when compared to the early 2000’s. Police say the declines are because of better technology, but they say car owners can protect themselves by being smart

“People come in and take advantage of those people who leave their vehicle unsecured and running,” said Lt. Theobald

AAA will be holding a similar event on Friday in Greenwood. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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