BOYLE HEIGHTS, Calif. (KABC) -- Car theft is the number one crime in America, especially in Los Angeles, experts say.
"It was a horrible feeling, coming out of work especially," Adriana Ramirez, a car theft victim from Boyle Heights, said. "I looked around and it wasn't there."
The Los Angeles Police Department, Hollenbeck Division reports that in 2017, on average 82 cars are stolen each month in the community.
"Finally, when I found it in the Hollenbeck lot it was stripped," Ramirez said.
Ever since Ramirez's first encounter with car theft, she takes extra measures to protect her valuables. She attended a free car VIN etching event at the Hollenbeck police station on Wednesday.
"This is much needed in Hollenbeck due to the fact that we do have a lot of later models of Toyotas and Hondas," Stan Young, detective with the Hollenbeck station, said.
Detective Young puts the event together along with American Automotive Association and the National Insurance Crime Bureau, this is their second year.
"I actually did see the numbers reduce," Young said.
Now that Ramirez has a new car and learned the hard way, she's not taking any risks especially when she's saving $400 by getting her car's VIN etched on the windows for free.
"This is awesome for giving back to the community of East LA and Boyle Heights."
AAA will host a free VIN etching event at their Whittier branch on 16041 Whittier Boulevard in June.
LAPD Hollenbeck division offers free VIN etching to combat car theft
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