Preventing Vehicle Theft

Sep 30, 2013

The Virginia State Police and the DMV are highlighting a program that’s been around for some time … but because of a change in state law, it's being extended to a growing category of motorists.

Moped and motorcycle operators are now being offered a free accessory that police believe helps deter theft and even lowers some insurance premiums.

Since more people are using mopeds and motorcycles as alternatives to gas-guzzling vehicles, they’re more plentiful--and more of a temptation for thieves. And a new state law says all of these vehicles must be registered. The DMV’s Sunni Brown says the agency is partnering with the State Police’s Help Eliminate Auto Theft Program for free Vehicle Identification Number etching on windows and other labeling events.

Brown says in order for thieves to sell a car undetected, they must shatter and replace the windows. On mopeds and motorcycles, small decals are placed throughout so that if they’re stolen and cut up, police can track the parts through VIN numbers. Brown says most thieves don't want the hassle so they avoid stealing vehicles with the decals and VIN etching. The State Police website will provide updates about free etching events around the state.

A State Police spokesman says some insurance companies will offer lower premiums as part of a theft deterrent discount.