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Virginia Railway Express "Seat Slasher" On The Loose | Crime

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Virginia Railway Express "Seat Slasher" On The Loose
Virginia Railway Express "Seat Slasher" On The Loose

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA) -- Virginia Railway Express has a new passenger on board dubbed “The Seat Slasher.”

VRE Spokesman Mark Roeber says 21 commuter train seats have been slashed open in the past six weeks, costing over $3,600 in damage.

“It’s tax payers who have paid for this and we put a lot of pride in our service,” Roeber told 9NewsNow. “We want it to stop.”

Crews noticed the vandalism taking place during the evening, in the exact same seat on the Manassas line. Each deep gash reaches up to 15 inches long, forcing crews to replace entire seats.

On Wednesday, the VRE sent out a “Train Talk” message to 16,000 riders, asking them to keep their eyes open for any suspicious behavior.  

“We figure the best way to have an extra set of eyes and ears is to ask the passengers to pay attention to people and what they’re doing on the ride,” Roeber said.

For avid traveler Michelle Slavain, she says the vandalism has commuters worried.

“It's kind of scary to think that there are people who have weapons on the trains while you’re riding,” the Connecticut native Slavain told 9NewsNow.

Roeber assures riders that’s not the case. He says the VRE believes the cut seats are purely acts of vandalism, brought on by a disgruntled customer.

The agency also has a task force in place in case of emergency.

“If there’s any presence of danger, whether it’s through a box cutter or any type of item the conductors have a special code they would call to dispatch law enforcement ,” Roeber said.

The VRE is continuing investigation in hopes of catching the serial slasher, who could face criminal charges.

“In the end we want it to just stop so the trains can remain in service and run on time,” Roeber said.