The Bellevue Police Department Saturday will offer car owners a valuable tool against theft, free etching of vehicle identification numbers into windshields. The service will be available 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the downtown Safeway, at Bellevue Way and Northeast Fourth Street.
Vehicle identification numbers, or VINs, are the 17-letter and number combinations engraved on plates, parts and accessories throughout a motor vehicle. Assigned to car's license plate, the VIN helps authorities track vehicles. Car thieves often try to remove or obscure the VIN on a stolen car.
Adding the VIN to the windshield or window of a car makes it more inconvenient for thieves, who must replace the glass to avoid detection.
The Bellevue Police Department is providing the etching service with a grant from Safeco Insurance.
VIN etching is just one aspect of the Bellevue Police's efforts to combat auto theft. Combined with investigation, enforcement, education and patrol, these efforts have significantly contributed to the 20 percent reduction in auto theft in Bellevue over the last two years.
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