Vandal Causes $250,000 in Damage to ‘Jurassic Park’ Exhibition, Police Say
A newly opened dinosaur exhibition in Atlanta based on the blockbuster series of “Jurassic Park” movies has been temporarily shut down after an intruder broke in and caused $250,000 in damage, the police said. One man is in custody.
On Monday, officers from the Atlanta Police Department responded to a burglary call at Jurassic World: The Exhibition, where a manager said he discovered several exhibits had been damaged, according to a police report.
The exhibition, which has made stops in North America, officially opened Friday at Pullman Yards, a large entertainment venue east of downtown Atlanta. The show promises to immerse audiences in scenes inspired by the films and features life-size dinosaur models.
Officials for the exhibition said security footage showed four suspects before they entered the property on Sunday night. One suspect was later seen “sitting on top of one of the dinosaurs ripping off the skin covering,” the report said.
Multiple items throughout the exhibition were damaged, at a cost of more than $250,000, the police said, adding that four custom-made dinosaur shirts valued at $6,000 each were also stolen.
At around 6:30 a.m. on Monday, a security officer said he encountered a man near a restaurant on the property. He took photos of the man and his driver’s license, but at the time the officer was unaware of the damage inside the exhibition. Security is on the property 24 hours a day, the report said.
The authorities later identified the man as Acauan Carvalho Van Deusen, 19, who was taken into custody without incident at an address a short distance from the exhibition. He was charged with burglary.
It was unclear if Mr. Van Deusen was represented by a lawyer.
The three other intruders have not been publicly identified, however the police report said they were not seen on video inside the exhibition or seen damaging property.
Officials with the exhibition did not immediately return a request for comment on Wednesday morning.
However, exhibition officials said in a statement on Instagram on Tuesday that the exhibit had been vandalized and was temporarily closing while the staff addressed the damage.
Officials with the exhibition also appeared to be responding to concerned and disgruntled customers on Instagram.
“We understand how frustrating this is and are committed to ensuring that all affected reservation holders can rebook their sessions,” officials said in the statement.
It was unclear how long the exhibition would be closed for repairs. The exhibition is expected to run at least through the summer.
Michael Mattox, the executive vice president of Animax Designs, the company in Nashville that constructed the dinosaurs, told Fox5Atlanta last week that it took 18 months to design and build them.
About 140 artists, engineers and other creative people were involved in the production of the dinosaurs, he said.
Derrick Bryson Taylor is a general assignment reporter. He previously worked at The New York Post’s PageSix.com and Essence magazine.
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