Falls police etch car windows to deter thieves

Wichita Falls_ The Wichita Falls Police Department's Auto Theft Task Force has launched a program they hope will deter car thefts. The concept is not new, but it is for Wichita Falls Law Enforcement. It's called VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) Engraving.  An identification number is engraved on car windows to defer would-be thieves.

Bill Byers and his family had their family car safe-proofed.  He says you can never be too safe.  The process is complete in a matter of minutes.  Officers with the Auto Theft Task Force scan your VIN number from your car, and enter it into a data system.  So, if the owner of a vehicle is stopped in Texas, or attempting to identify stolen car parts, officers will be able to call in the numbers on the window to determine the status of the car.  Once officers have scanned the VIN number, every window of the vehicle receives an etching.  Within minutes the cars' windows are identifiable.

Officer Michael Phillips says it won't put a stop to automobile thefts all together, but it should add a deterrence.  "[Potential thieves will] see the identification, and maybe move on to the next car."

It's good news for the Byers family.  Wichita Falls Police say there is an average of about 300 vehicles reported stolen every year - about average for a city of its size.  Right now, The Auto Theft Task Forces is only etching vehicles for groups of people, like churches and organizations.  If you are interested in having your vehicle etched, call the Wichita Falls Police Station at 940-761-7732.