SAN DIEGO -- Thieves are ripping license plates and tags off San Diego cars.
"I was so mad," Hilde Vandenbergh said. "I walked behind my car and I, all the sudden like, 'wait, wait a minute.' Like the whole thing was gone."
Her license plate and tag were stolen off her car by thieves.
"Just one of those you know your heart drops into your stomach, you're like 'oh my gosh, something else to deal with.'"
Vandenbergh couldn't believe it, and neither could another victim 10News talked to. The second victim didn't want to go on camera, but showed 10News the gouges on their truck where thieves used a crowbar to pry off their plate and tags.
San Diego Police say thieves want license plates to sell, use for themselves, or to put on stolen vehicles.
"We're so close to the border, that it's easy to slap on a stolen license plate and take off," Vandenbergh said. "Take it across the border and never see it again."
Hilde's determined not to make it that easy for the next thief. She got an anti-theft license plate frame that requires special tools. She hopes her experience can stop the cycle.
"You feel violated," she said. "You know, somebody took something that doesn't belong to them and now you have to deal with the DMV, which is never fun. Anything you can do to prevent."
Anti-theft license plates cost only about $10 to $20 dollars online.