Auto Theft Awareness

Vehicle Theft Is Not Just Another Property Crime!

Car owners pay an average of $300 more per year for insurance due to auto theft rates regardless if your vehicle is stolen. We all pay the price!

A vehicle is stolen approximately every 10 minutes in the State of Arizona and Yuma was ranked #26 in the nation per capita for auto theft by the National Insurance Crime Bureau for 2007. Plus, a few major cities within hours of Yuma were ranked in the top 10.

Be mindful and prepared. Remember, thieves don’t have jurisdictions!

Be Aware

Visit the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) for additional crime prevention tips and statistics.

VIN Etching

VIN etching is the process of permanently etching your vehicle identification number (VIN) on each piece of window glass on the vehicle. VIN Etching is used as a visual deterrent against auto theft.

How Does It Work? When a vehicle is stolen a thief must change the VIN plate located in the dash of the vehicle. With that done and a new one in place, the thief now has a vehicle that does not have an identity linking it to being stolen. With VIN Etching the thief must change all the windows in the vehicle in order to get rid of the identity of the stolen vehicle. This can be very costly and will cut into their profit margin if they try to sell it. Thieves are not in their business to spend money.

VIN Etching does not damage your vehicle in any way. It merely leaves an etching on the lower right corner of the glass in each window. It does not make the window weaker and it is still fully functional. The marking measures approximately 2 inches wide by ¼” in height. It leaves a slightly white color to the numbers making it visible within a few feet of your vehicle.

This process takes approximately 10-15 minutes per vehicle. You must show proof of vehicle ownership, current registration and sign a consent form provided by our agency. This is not offered all year long and is done at scheduled events throughout the City of Yuma. Best of all it is FREE!

Watch Your Car

The Watch Your Car program is a free, voluntary program where vehicle owners enroll their vehicles with the Arizona Automobile Theft Authority (AATA). The vehicle is then entered in the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) database. Participants will receive decals for the front and rear windows of the vehicle.

By enrolling in this program and displaying the decals, vehicle owners voluntary give permission to law enforcement officials to stop their vehicle if it is seen operating between the hours of 1:00 AM and 5:00 AM, when the majority of auto theft occur. Participants also authorize law enforcement to stop their vehicle any time day or night if it is seen within one mile of the international border, if there is suspicion the vehicle is being illegally operated.

If a police officer witnesses the vehicle in operation between these hours, they have the right to stop the vehicle and verify it is being legally operated by the rightful owner.

Please note: It is the owner's responsibility to cancel the program if you sell your vehicle or no longer wish to participate. It is also the owner's responsibility to then remove the decals from the vehicle when canceling participation in the program.

About The Arizona Automobile Theft Authority: The Arizona Automobile Theft Authority also assists law enforcement by issuing grant monies to agencies to aid in combating auto theft. The Yuma Police Department has used a portion of these funds to buy a set number of steering wheel locks that are given away free to persons signing up for the Watch Your Car program through the Yuma Police Department. Sign up can be done at the Yuma Police Department or at scheduled events throughout the community.

For more information, please contact the Yuma Police Department or visit the Arizona Automobile Theft Authority.