Dinosaur exhibition temporarily closes in Atlanta after intruders cause expensive damage
May 30, 2023, 4:25 PM
ATLANTA (AP) — A dinosaur exhibition linked to the Jurassic Park movie franchise has temporarily closed its Atlanta location after police say people broke in and caused more than $250,000 in damage.
Atlanta police say they responded Monday to a burglary call at the exhibition, which had just opened Friday at Pullman Yards, an event space east of downtown Atlanta.
The general manager told police that four people broke in around 9:30 p.m. Surveillance footage showed one person sitting atop of one of the animatronic dinosaurs while “ripping off the skin covering,” according to an incident report obtained by local news outlets.
A suspect also stole four custom-made dinosaur shirts valued at $6,000 each, the report said.
A security guard took a picture of an intruder at 6:30 a.m. Monday at a restaurant on the property. Atlanta police later identified and arrested 19-year-old Acauan Carvalho Van Deusen, charging him with second-degree burglary. It’s unclear if Van Deusen has a lawyer who could speak for him.
None of the other suspects have been publicly identified.
The publicist for the exhibition said organizers hope to reopen June 7, saying people who had bought tickets have been sent emails on how to rebook.
“We are excited to host everyone once the exhibition has reopened,” organizers said in a statement.
Everette Wadley told WANF-TV that the damage ruined a special occasion for her child.
“It was a little disappointing because it was supposed to be a surprise, but we are going to make the best of it,” Wadley said. “Can you imagine trying to tell an 8-year-old we’re not going to be able to see that today?”
Promoters earlier told WAGA-TV that Animax Designs of Nashville, Tennessee, took 18 months to design and build the animatronic dinosaurs included in exhibition, which draws on six Jurassic Park movies and an animated Netflix series.
Two other similar exhibitions are currently running near Toronto and in Cologne, Germany, part of a group that has been touring world cities since 2016.