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VIN Etching event on Sept. 23

The Lehigh County Auto Theft Task Force will host a free vehicle identification number etching 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 23 at AAA East Central, 2072 Downyflake Lane, Allentown.

The event is available to all vehicle owners in Lehigh County and there is no limit to the number of vehicles owners may bring to the event.

VIN-etching is the process of chemically etching a vehicle’s unique identification number on all windows and the sunroof.

The process does not damage the windows and does not detract from the appearance of the vehicle.

Detectives use a special software and dot-matrix printer to create stencils of the identification number.

The stencils are applied to each of the windows and dabbed with an etching solution.

The stencils are removed and the glass is cleaned.

The number remains lightly etched into the window glass.

The entire process takes about five minutes, depending on the number of windows.

VIN-etching deters thieves from stealing a vehicle.

If someone steals a VIN-etched vehicle, the thief will have to replace all the windows or deface the glass to remove the etching so the vehicle cannot be identified as stolen.