Groups Work Together to Curb Mich. Auto Theft

May 16, 2005

WJBK FOX 2 News, HEAT (Help Eliminate Auto Thefts) and AAA Michigan are working to help drivers prevent a problem that can affect anyone – auto theft.

They are partnering with the Automobile Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA) to host a free Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etching for the public on Saturday, June 11, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at City of Southfield Municipal Building, located at 26000 Evergreen, in Southfield.

The service is available on a first come, first served basis and provides an etching of each vehicle’s VIN onto all glass surfaces of the vehicle. The entire process reportedly takes less than 10 minutes.

Drivers may ask how such a service can protect them from auto theft, but the reason is simple: Thieves reportedly often replace VIN numbers before reselling a stolen vehicle. If a vehicle with etched glass is stolen, all glass surfaces would have to be replaced for the vehicle to be resold with a new VIN. An added bonus is that some insurers also provide discounts for etched vehicles, so there’s a way to save money, as well.

HEAT (Help Eliminate Auto Thefts) is a partnership of Michigan’s auto
insurance companies, law enforcement and residents of Michigan.

The HEAT program encourages citizen action through a confidential, toll-free auto theft tip line (1-800-242-HEAT) that provides financial rewards up to $10,000 to people who provide information leading to the arrest and prosecution of individuals for auto theft, auto theft-related insurance fraud, carjacking and chop shops.

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