The El Paso Police helped car owners protect themselves against car thieves by offering free vin etching.
The El Paso Police Department says there have been more than 500 vehicle thefts in El Paso so far in 2012, and having your vin number etched on your car can qualify you for a discount on auto theft insurance.
El Paso police used acid to imprint vehicle vin numbers on the windows of the vehicles.
Police say this makes it harder for car thieves to cash in.
Officer Stephen Plummer says vehicles are worth twice as much if the parts are sold separately.
"So by putting that vin etching it devalues the vehicle by selling the parts illegitimately without any paperwork, shops are not going to buy the parts, so that's one of the advantages plus most of the insurance companies will offer a 10 percent discount on their theft coverage for having vin etching."
Plummer says El Paso is an attractive city for car thieves.
"We have Mexico right next door, so there are stolen vehicles coming into the us that are very difficult to identify by those authorities. So when vehicles are stolen here, a good majority of them do end up in Mexico and of course in the narcotics trade and everything,” said Plummer.
The event was co-sponsored by Evolve Credit Union. Elisa Arce works for Evolve, and she says it's that time of year when we need to protect our vehicles.
" It's starting to get warm. People like to leave their windows a little bit cracked so that it doesn't get too hot when they get in, and what they don't realize is that there are these thieves that know how to steal different vehicles with manufacturing alarms.
El Paso police also says that it is illegal to leave keys inside of an unattended vehicle and you can be fined.