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Local Agencies Team Up to Offer Free VIN Etching Program

July 31, 2012


Media Release: For Immediate Release:  7/27/2012


For more info, contact Martinsville Sheriff's Office Major Laura Hopkins


Local Agencies Team Up to Offer Free VIN Etching Program

MARTINSVILLE, Va. -  Vehicle thefts cost consumers and insurance companies millions of dollars each year in losses.  This drives up the cost of insurance premiums and has far reaching negative social effects on our society.

Modern technology has produced numerous methods to combat these crimes including vehicle identification number (VIN) etching; an inexpensive and convenient way to help combat this type of crime.  Every automobile has a unique serial number used by the automotive industry to identify that specific vehicle.  Police can also use this number as a tool to quickly identify a stolen vehicle and solve criminal cases.

The Martinsville City Sheriff's Office, Henry County Sheriff's Office, Martinsville Police Department, and the Virginia State Police H.E.A.T. (Help Eliminate Auto Theft) Program have partnered to offer residents an opportunity to take advantage of a program in which the VIN number is etched into the window glass of the vehicle allowing police officers to quickly identify stolen vehicles.  These agencies will be promoting the H.E.A.T. program and the VIN Etching when the Martinsville Mustangs play Florence on Tuesday July 31.  The first 350 in attendance will receive water bottles, key chains, and other promotional items.

The VIN Etching is free of charge and is open to all residents of Martinsville and Henry County.  This is a great way for citizens to help protect their vehicles against theft.  In addition, some automobile insurance companies offer discounts for etched vehicles.

The process is simple, fast, and free and it will not harm your vehicle.  Any resident who would like to participate in the program should simply come to the Martinsville Fire Station # 1 located at 65 W. Church St. on Saturday, August 4th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  While there residents can meet and talk with many of their local police officers and learn valuable new information on auto theft prevention.

Residents are reminded that the Virginia State Police H.E.A.T. Program offers up to $25,000 in reward money for tips that lead to solving cases of vehicle theft.  You may report those tips by calling 1-800-947-HEAT.

For more information on this Saturday's free local VIN Etching Program, call Martinsville Sheriff's Office Major Laura Hopkins at 276-403-5289.