A recently opened dinosaur exhibit in Atlanta based on the hit “Jurassic Park” movie series has been temporarily closed after an intruder broke in and caused $250,000 in damage, police said. A man is in custody.
On Monday, officers from the Atlanta Police Department responded to a burglary call at Jurassic World: The Exhibition, where an official said he discovered several exhibits had been damaged, according to a police report.
The exhibit, which made a North American stopover, officially opened on Friday at Pullman Yards, a major entertainment venue east of downtown Atlanta. The show promises to immerse audiences in scenes inspired by the movies and features life-size dinosaur models.
Expo officials said security footage showed four suspects before they entered the property on Sunday evening. A suspect was then seen “sitting on top of one of the dinosaurs tearing off the skin,” the report said.
Several exhibits were damaged, costing more than $250,000, police said, adding that four custom-made dinosaur shirts worth $6,000 each were also stolen.
At around 6:30 a.m. Monday, a security guard said he encountered a man near a restaurant on the property. He took pictures of the man and his driver’s license, but at the time the officer was unaware of the damage inside the exhibit. Security is on the property 24 hours a day, according to the report.
Authorities later identified the man as 19-year-old Acauan Carvalho Van Deusen, who was arrested without incident at an address not far from the exhibit. He was charged with burglary.
It was unclear whether Mr. Van Deusen was represented by a lawyer.
The other three intruders have not been publicly identified, but the police report says they were not seen on video inside the exhibit or damaged property.
Expo officials did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday morning.
However, exhibit officials said in an Instagram statement on Tuesday that the exhibit had been vandalized and was temporarily closing while staff repaired the damage.
Expo officials also appeared to be responding to worried 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 exhibit would be closed for repairs. The exhibition should last at least all summer.
Michael Mattox, executive vice president of Animax Designs, the Nashville company that built the dinosaurs, told Fox5Atlanta last week that it took 18 months to design and build them.
About 140 artists, engineers and other creators were involved in producing the dinosaurs, he said.