Parkland Police Find SUV Loaded With Stolen Items

Police arrest three men in hospital parking lot

By Kevin Cokely
|  Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012  |  Updated 6:00 PM CDT
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Security tightens at TRE Park and Ride lots.

Kevin Cokely, NBC 5

Security tightens at TRE Park and Ride lots.

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Property Stolen in Car Break-Ins Recovered

Parkland Hospital police found items that were stolen in car burglaries last week after witnesses reporting seeing three men breaking into cars in a parking garage.
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Police at Parkland Medical Center found stolen guitars, car radios, luggage and more in a getaway car last week.

Dallas County Hospital District police found a stash of stolen items Thursday afternoon inside a vehicle that had been stolen one day earlier from a Trinity Railway Express state in Fort Worth.

"The vehicle was loaded almost to the roof with stolen properties in the back," Lt. Dan Birbeck said.

He said officers found "guitars, ladies purses, credit cards, luggage [and] multiple radios that were taken out of dashboards of vehicles" inside the sport utility vehicle.

Witnesses called police from the hospital's parking garage after seeing three men breaking into cars on the sixth floor.

"They were laughing; just thought it was a game, having a good time," Birbeck said. "When we made contact with them, that obviously changed."

With their guns drawn, Parkland police surrounded the vehicle and arrested Valentino Martinez, 31; Juan Zamarron, 19; and Eduardo Moreno, 17.

Dallas police said the group is also suspected of committing several breakins at other parking lots along Stemmons Freeway not far from Parkland.

The SUV they were driving was stolen Wednesday from a parking lot at the Hurst Bell TRE station in Fort Worth, where 18 cars had been broken into. A number of the recovered items were stolen from cars in the TRE parking lot.

"It was a pretty good hit for us," Birbeck said.

Officers found a stereo that was stolen from Andrew Hillis' truck in Dallas only hours earlier.

"It's great," he said. "It's the first time in probably about half a dozen break-ins I've had over five years to actually have them get caught and get stuff back."

"It's a really good feeling to have things back in your possession that kind of mean something to you, little things to you," Hillis said.

Several police departments are now involved with the investigation. Detectives are contacting victims of recent car break-ins to help them reclaim their stolen items.

Tony Johnson with the Fort Worth Transportation Authority said they'll begin warning people who park at the Park and Ride lots to secure their valuables. 

Officials also said that security systems are being monitored more closely in the wake of the burglaries and that more surveillance equipment may be installed in the future.

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