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Product Can Help Track Car Part & Wheel Thieves

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Wheels and vehicle parts are a hot temptation for criminals, but a new product invented in Connecticut is helping track down thieves.

Having car parts stolen happens far more often than one might think, and the likelihood of getting them back is slim.

“There's like zero chance of getting them,” said Brad Deveran, owner of PassKey Premium Productions.

Deveran said his product called InvisibleVin is helping investigators crack auto theft cases, and his company PassKey Premium Productions is located in Hartford.

“Most likely they would have no idea that it's on there,” Deveran said.

The product is a permanent marking applied on more than one dozen parts of the vehicle, and is only visible under a black light.

The vehicle identification number, or “VIN,” is imprinted using a chemical that permeates the layers of paint and coatings, making it difficult for thieves to remove, and that is even if they knew it was there in the first place.

“Even when you grind it or sand it,” said Jason Hocking of Executive Honda of Wallingford, which applies InvisibleVin to parts on all of their cars before they are sold.

Earlier this month, an older model Honda Accord came into their shop for a simple repair, and the mechanic noticed something suspicious.

“It had 2013 rims on it so the tech saw it, and said ‘hey this looks like the wheels that we had stolen awhile back',” Deveran said.

A group of thieves had hit the dealership and took off with eight sets of wheels in 2013.

“We came in and they were on the milk crates, and our wheels were gone...it was about a $20,000 claim we had to put in,” Hocking said.

The mechanic checked for the InvisibleVin markings and ran the VIN in their system, and it was a match.

Beyond simply finding the lost parts, InvisibleVin is backed by insurance, meaning as long as the vehicle owner has a sticker on their car letting potential thieves know that the vehicle is marked, the insurance company will send some money for a replacement.

“They'll have a little bonus, down payment on a car, what have you. In addition to any insurance money that they might collect on the vehicle,” Hocking said.

For more information on InvisibleVin and to find out where you can have it applied to your vehicle, click here.

Dealership recovers stolen wheels days after they were ripped from a vehicle on the lot

 

Thursday, July 20th 2017, 5:46 pm ESTThursday, July 20th 2017, 8:26 pm ESTBy Lisa Gresci, Anchor

 

Service manager Harold Floyd looks at the code on the wheel. (Source: Lisa Gresci)

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LITTLE RIVER, SC (WMBF) – During the early-morning hours of July 13, one of the employees at the Bell & Bell Buick GMC in Little River quickly noticed something on the lot didn't look right.

As he walked over, he saw a devastating blow.

“One of the employees that usually gets here pretty early called my wife and myself, and said there was one out there jacked up on blocks,” said service manager Harold Floyd.

It wasn't the first time this dealership has been hit but Floyd knew this time would be different, thanks to a new coding system many might think was invisible.

"You can't even see it from any other part of the rim,” Floyd said.

When someone takes a closer look, a code suddenly appeared.

After thorough testing of the code system - painting over it dozens of times - the dealership found you could still see it. Sanding it down, it could still be seen.

Just three days prior to the incident, technicians started to put the codes on every wheel on the lot.

“And that just happened to be one of the vehicles the wheels were taken, so we were anxious to see how it really did work,” Floyd said.

Though there were other factors to help track down the wheels, including security cameras and social media, Floyd said the code system did its job.

“Even one of the officers said there is just no way, without having the tracking and the codes on those rims, that they would have ever been able to place them back to this dealership,” he said.

The dealership thanks Horry County police for finding the wheels within 48 hours and wants to soon share this parts marking coding system with the public in the hopes of stopping these types of crimes once and for all.

Copyright 2017 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

 

Scorpion Mark and InvisibleVin UV Parts Marking

 

If you haven't seen any recent news stories in your area about the rise of property crime, specifically auto theft, alloy wheel theft and motorcycle theft just jump on google and do a quick search.  

Search "stolen rims" and you will see that not only are dealers getting hit for stolen rims but more often individuals are waking up to find their rims stolen.  Here are a few video stories about stolen wheels.  

 

Scorpion Mark wheel theft video.  

 

Stolen rims from Honda owners.    

 

Stolen wheels from Dodge Challenger.

 

Search "stolen cars sold for parts" and you will see that although wheels are getting stolen at an alarming rate so are vehicles themselves.  With the advent of the internet and sites like Craigslist and eBay and it is very easy for a thief to strip a car and sell its parts.  Parts like the doors, hood, trunk, spoilers and fenders can be removed easily and sold within hours.  

 

Who buys these stolen parts?

 

Unsuspecting individuals and also body shops looking for inexpensive parts to do repairs on like vehicles often fall prey to these thieves.  If they are caught in possession of stolen parts they will be subject to investigation and the parts will be confiscated by police.

Search for "stolen motorcycles" and you will see story after story with the same theme as the preceding paragraphs.  Thieves targeting retailers and individuals, stealing the bikes and then stripping them and selling the parts using the same aforementioned techniques.

How to make the parts traceable back to the original owner?

 

The vehicle parts industry comes with its own marking needs and challenges that require specialized marking techniques. Scorpion Mark and InvisibleVin bring a patented method of marking these parts to the industry.  These markings are specifically geared towards catching thieves and reuniting stolen parts, and vehicles, with their original owners.  The UV (ultra violet) parts markings are covert, hidden, permanent, and very difficult to remove.  The UV parts markings also show through when painted and powder coated over with multiple coats.

  

Identification and Traceability

Identification and traceability of stolen car parts, stolen rims, and motorcycle parts is the major reason behind the marking of the various vehicle parts.

 

It is mandatory for all automobile parts to have identifying information on them, as per government regulations.  But most of these markings are easily circumvented and or exist on only a handful of parts and never the rims.

The parts markings need to outlast a parts lifecycle, withstanding exposure to dust, water, oil, fuel and high temperatures.

Our UV parts marking applies a layer of theft prevention to make the parts on your vehicle undesirable to thieves.  Thieves want to steal your vehicle and strip it down to untraceable parts as quickly as possible. Thieves can then sell these parts to unsuspecting consumers and make a quick buck(many times online).  

 

In order to deter these types of thieves you must make an anti-theft system that is not easy to circumvent. That's the beauty of our chemical UV parts marking process!  Our UV parts markings are very difficult to locate without a UV light.   When and if the UV parts markings  are located a thief would have to strip down the layers of clear coat, paint and primer to remove each one of the UV parts markings.  Then each spot would have to be repainted... This is not an easy payday... 

After having your parts marked simply place our warning label on your windows.  Let thieves know that they're in for some heavy duty extra work in order to make some cash.