Thieves stole millions of gear from Georgia film sets in the past year, filmmakers say – WSB-TV Channel 2


ATLANTA — Thieves targeting metro Atlanta’s booming film and production industry have stolen millions of dollars in equipment over the past year. Now the business owners are teaming up with the city of Atlanta and the police to create a task force to arrest them.

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Thefts total more than 40 since the start of 2021, and some locations have been hit multiple times.

Lance Holland, the owner of Encyloomedia in Candler Park, said they hit his business more than once — and quickly.

“They were in and out of here in four minutes each time,” Holland said.

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A group of four men in a car were seen breaking into the business last fall and again in January.

All are usually armed with crowbars, but one was seen with a gun. They are looking for expensive cameras, lenses and other equipment.

“These guys get information or are part of a production in all these different places. Clearly they know where the goods are,” Holland said.

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It’s not just the big production houses, but also the smaller companies.

Karlief Legend and his wife own The Plug ATL in Chamblee. Police believe the same group of thieves broke into their digital and content creation studio just before Christmas, taking around $100,000 in equipment that they have yet to replace.

“The pit of my stomach was just in knots,” Legend said. “(To see) the CCTV and watch people running around this building and grabbing stuff.”

The managing director of PC&E, a major production house and rental company, says they were also hit twice.

Mark Wofford helped compile a comprehensive list of thefts in four metropolitan counties and multiple jurisdictions for police.

“It’s happening everywhere, so I think the response needs to be coordinated,” he said.

A group of owners estimate that the losses are enormous.

“They could be three to four million, and those are just the ones we know of,” Wofford said.

Wofford and other filmmakers worked with Atlanta City Councilman Michael Julian Bond, who introduced a resolution to create a subway-wide crime-fighting task.

Bond said on Thursday the measure had the full support of the public safety committee and would be voted on in full at Monday night’s council meeting.


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