Area residents drove more than 100 vehicles to Forest Park last Saturday to participate in an anti-auto theft Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Etching event sponsored by local elected officials.
The process is a technique which is used to deter car thieves by making a car less appealing to steal. It involves etching the VIN into the windows of the car, making the car easier to identify and making it harder to take the car apart and sell it for parts. In addition to deterring thieves, VIN etching can also aid in vehicle recovery.
State Senator Joe Addabbo (D-Howard Beach), Assemblyman Mike Miller (D- Woodhaven) and Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) co-sponsored the etching held at the Seuffert Bandshell and partnered with the 102 pct in order to offer the community a powerful tool in combating the continuing rise in auto theft throughout neighborhood precincts.
All vehicles got their VIN number etched on the glass of car windows, with those vehicles also receiving eligibility for auto insurance discounts as a result of their participation in the program.
“Perhaps as a result of the difficult recession, there has been a spike in auto thefts in our communities once again,” said Sen. Addabbo. “I urge residents to take advantage of opportunities like this because they offer a much better chance to recover your car if it is stolen.”
Recent NYPD statistics show that auto theft is up in several local precincts. The 102nd Precinct has reported 165 car thefts so far this year, a 19 percent increase from last year’s 138. The 104th Precinct has already had 239 car thefts, up 35 percent from last year’s 177. The news is slightly better in the 106th Precinct, where 175 vehicles have been stolen, up 3 percent from last year’s 169 thefts, and in the 112th Precinct, which has reported 61 thefts, up just one from last year.
Additionally, Addabbo said that some precincts did not have updated equipment to perform the etchings and that he would be looking into measures to provide funding for all area precincts to be fitted with updated equipment used in the etching process.
More events will be scheduled for etching sessions in the future. All those interested in
upcoming dates can contact the office of Crowley at (718) 366 3900 or by visiting 64- 77 Dry Harbor Road in Middle Village.