It only takes a few minutes, but it can take a lot out of your wallet and leave you stranded.
We are talking about having your car stolen.
Tuesday police across the Bluegrass teamed up to try and combat car thefts.
Good Question: How fast can thieves steal and strip your car?
Its estimated that every 26 seconds a car is stolen in the United States.
"You've parked at the mall, at a grocery store or maybe a random parking lot somewhere," all places where Lt. David Jude says your can be stolen.
Tuesday Lexington Police and the Kentucky State Police teamed up with the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators to try and stop car thieves and the chop shops they run in their tracks.
It’s a crime that can be hard to track.
"It makes it much more difficult for law enforcement because its hard to track just a door or just a hood off a car as opposed to the whole car itself," said Lt. Jude.
Using a Ford Taurus officers demonstrated how fast a chop shop could take a part your car if stolen.
When the clock starts it only takes seconds for your wheels to come off, then the hood, the bumper and as time ticks off the clock more of your car is gutted and nothing is spared not even the seats.
Lt. Jude says it only takes about 15 to 20 minute for thieves to completely disassemble your car.
A shell of the car police used is all that's left once the demonstration is finished.
While you may not be a victim, Lt. Jude says chop shops could be operating right under your nose.
"The reality is, it could be anywhere, it could be in a neighbor's garage. Some of the common things we tell people to look for is a large amount of traffic coming in, large amount of cars being brought in and you can tell those businesses where a particular model comes in, but doesn't leave type a deal."
The 1995 Honda Civic continues to be the number one most stolen vehicle.
Many times police say when a car is stripped the frame is either crushed or then sold for the metal.