EL PASO, Texas - The El Paso Police Department and its Theft Protection Task Force are working to crack down on vehicle thefts in the city.
They are encouraging motorists to take advantage of a free event this weekend where officials will offer free Vehicle Identification Number etching.
Every vehicle has a 17-digit number, usually located on the bottom corner of the windshield. The number serves as an identification.
Officer Ernesto Aredondo, with the Theft Protection Task Force said the etching can make it difficult for a car thief to get rid of the vehicle's identification.
Last year, 1,163 vehicles were stolen in El Paso.
As of this month, 392 vehicles have been stolen in 2013.
Officer Aredondo said the number of car thefts has declined in recent years.
Although there are less thefts, living on the border is still a major risk factor.
"Several minutes from any location in El Paso, your vehicle could end up in Mexico. That will make harder for any car to be located and recovered," said Officer Aredondo.
The free VIN etching event takes place Saturday, July 27 at the north end parking lot of Sunland Park Mall from 9am to noon.