HURST (CBSDFW.COM) – Police are looking for the thieves who broke into nearly 20 cars Thursday, in the broad daylight, in the parking lot of a Trinity Railway Express (TRE) station.

A crime of this magnitude is a first.

“We’ve never had it happen with us before,” said Tony Johnson, the executive vice president of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority. “When we’ve had car break-ins usually it’s one or two cars. This was 18 cars broken into and one stolen.”

The thieves damaged so many cars at the Hurst Bell Station, at the corner of Bell Spur Drive and Trinity Boulevard in Hurst that it ranks as one of the worst cases of North Texas vandalism.

While there are surveillance cameras at the station having them there doesn’t guarantee the crimes were captured on video.

“The problem is they have a DVD and once the memory on that DVD fills up it starts writing over itself, so there’s a good possibility that it may have taped over the activity,” explained Johnson.

The vandals ripped out dashboards and took everything from radios and GPS systems, to gifts and personal property.

There is security at the Hurst Bell Station, but it is limited.

“We couldn’t afford to put a security officer there, at all the stations, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, that would just be too cost prohibitive since we don’t charge people to park there,” Johnson said.

Until those responsible for the crime spree are caught, Johnson said security and law enforcement presence at the station will be increased.

“We have 26 police officers that work for us, out there on a regular basis and they’ll be out there monitoring and watching. We also have security officers that will be out there,” he said. “We do have police officers that are riding the trains; they don’t particularly get off and walk through the parking lots, although we are changing that until we can apprehend these guys.”

Johnson believes the crimes most likely happened in the middle of the day when the station is generally empty and trains only run every 45 minutes.

Anyone seeing suspicious behavior at a commuter station is asked to call the T’s Customer Service Call Center at (817) 215-8600 for Tarrant County stations or DART Police at (214) 928-6300 for Dallas County stations.

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