Free vehicle etchings could prevent thefts

Preventing vehicle theft can begin with a little preventive measure known as VIN etching.

Thursday, car and truck owners can have the etching done free of charge at the AAA Alabama state office on Acton Road.

The process takes approximately 15 minutes. A kit provides a stencil that is then placed on each window of the vehicle. The process provides a professional etching of the vehicle identification number - the VIN.

A spokesman for AAA Alabama, Clay Ingram{}said, "We are working with area law enforcement and we know you are 64% less likely to have your car stolen with the VIN number etched into the glass; if it is stolen, you are 85% more likely to get it back."

In 2010, 10,600 vehicles were stolen in Alabama. More than 3,700 of those thefts were in the Birmingham-Hoover metro area.

The free etching is available from 9:00 - 4:00 at the AAA Alabama headquarters. Technicians also will be on hand to perform a free 23-point vehicle inspection. No repair work will be done on site.