Rebecca Scotland said her car was left "undriveable" after it was stripped of parts, including the bonnet and lights.
The 27-year-old left her car in a car park for two hours while she enjoyed a concert.
The damage to her Citroen C1 left her feeling "violated".
Rebecca had been out with partner Tony Lincoln at the O2 Academy in Birmingham to see Nina Nesbitt when she returned to her car to find it had been targeted by "car cannibals" - thieves who strip parts off motors.
Ms Scotland, from Winshill, had parked in Digbeth Public Car Park in November 2022 when the incident happened.
She is now warning others after hearing of other cases in Birmingham.
Ms Scotland's Citroen had been stripped of its bumper, bonnet and lights, with thieves leaving the number plate behind.
They had smashed the passenger window so they could open the bonnet.
Ms Scotland, an editor at AI Global Media, in Burton, said it was a professional-looking job too as the parts were removed carefully and quickly.
She said: "As I was walking back to the car I thought something didn't look right but I still had that after-concert glow. As I got closer I saw what had happened.
"I just broke down, I've never been so distressed in my life. That was the first time I'd driven to Birmingham and I was quite pleased I had done the drive.
"It looked like it had been done very professionally, nothing had been snapped and they knew what they were doing."
She added: "I'm traumatised by it. I will always be worried about leaving my car now, even on my own front doorstep.
"It's left me shaken and feeling violated."
It was around 11pm when Ms Scotland and her partner returned to her car.
Fortunately, Ms Scotland's dad was able to travel to Birmingham to drive them home safely as her Citroen could not be driven.
However, Ms Scotland said the wait was the "longest 45 minutes of my life" - waiting with the heating on and a smashed window, fearing for their safety.
Despite plenty of other cars in the car park that night, Ms Scotland said only hers was targeted, leading her to believe that the thieves were waiting for specific cars to park up.
The Citroen is her first car and after initially having problems with the insurance company, it has now been repaired and is back on the road.
Since looking into what happened to her more and speaking to others about it, Ms Scotland has found there have been other cases in the city, she says.
She is now urging caution to others, saying: "I just want people to avoid driving to/parking in Birmingham if they can or be extra vigilant in terms of where they leave their car.
"I want people to be more careful if leaving their car in Digbeth and use more secure parking.
"It was really scary to see it. I hadn't heard of it before it happened and you never expect something like this to happen to you.
"I'm just glad that we got home safely. I want to raise awareness about it and ask people to be vigilant."West Midlands Police have been approached for a comment.