Investigation underway after rail car vandalized at Waipahu operations center

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Honolulu police are investigating after someone broke into the Rail Operations Center in Waipahu and vandalized a rail car.

It happened sometime late Thursday night or early Friday morning.

We’ve seen the photos, but have decided not to show them in order not to glorify the artist.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation confirms one car was marked with graffiti, and is already being cleaned.

HART spokesman Bill Brennan released the following statement:

Unfortunately, HART’s Rail Operations Center was vandalized overnight and one of Honolulu’s rail cars was painted with graffiti. HART is investigating the incident with the Honolulu Police Department and is increasing security at the site to prevent any future incidents. Graffiti removal has already begun and should concluded in the next several days.

The car manufacturer insurance will cover the cost of cleaning the graffiti.

Construction engineer Lance Luke toured the facility Friday morning.

He told KHON2 HART confiscated the group’s cell phones and cameras before they entered.

“They said they didn’t want anybody to take photos for security purposes and didn’t want the graffiti photos to be sent out anywhere to the general public,” Luke said. “We’re supposed to look at the rail cars and go inside the cars, which we did, but we looked at the outside. There were blue tarps covering the supposedly graffiti-ed area, so we couldn’t see it.”

Luke said the rail yard’s security appeared to be lacking and “basically was nothing.”

Luke said, “I asked one of the workers that was part of our tour, I said, “Well, where’s your security guards?’ and he said, ‘There was only one guard.’ And I said, ‘Only one guard for this entire complex? That’s ridiculous!’ I said, ‘Well you guys have a security camera system and 24/7 video right?’ And he goes no.”

KHON2 found a hole along the property’s perimeter Friday that was just large enough for a person to squeeze through. HART was notified about the breach and asked what security measures were in place before the vandalism took place.

Brennan said, “We have increased security at the Rail Operations Center since the overnight breach. We would not want to elaborate on our security.”

We reached out to the city, but a spokesman directed our questions to HART.

Honolulu City Councilwoman Kymberly Pine said she is disappointed that vandals would do this to taxpayer property.

“It’s actually quite embarrassing and very clear that it wasn’t even a professional burglar,” she said. “It was just a bunch of kids that wanted to make a name for themselves and unfortunately, it shows that our security is very weak there.”

“They could’ve done a lot of damage. If they had a sledgehammer, they could’ve gone to town and so this is totally unacceptable and the taxpayers aren’t going to be very happy with this,” Luke said.

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