The FBI reports that a vehicle is stolen in the U.S. once every 43 seconds. One way to deter thieves who are looking to steal cars for parts is to etch the windows with a vehicle identification number, or VIN. A VIN is unique to you, no other vehicle is marked with the same set of numbers. This makes a car with an etched VIN less attractive to potential thieves.

A sticker with a VIN or a VIN that is on the painted part of the vehicle isn’t as effective as a VIN etched into the windows because a sticker can be removed easily enough and a VIN on the body of the vehicle can be painted over.

For a thief to sell a vehicle whole, he or she would have to replace all of the glass, a time-consuming and costly process. In many cases, that’s enough for the thief to look somewhere else.

The best news is, VIN etching is inexpensive, especially considering the cost of a replacement car. While this isn’t a service that Ideal Auto Glass offers, the crime prevention agency in your area may offer this as a service, possibly even for free or reduced costs. Many insurance companies will also offer a discount for customers who have a VIN number etched into their vehicle’s glass!