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Atlanta Screenprints Loses $75,000 Worth of Equipment in Heist

The thief is still at large, but the well-insured company is running at full capacity again less than a month after the incident.

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Atlanta Screenprints was burglarized in late January. Atlanta Screenprints was burglarized in late January.

David Robison started his own business more than 40 years ago, but nothing since that time could’ve prepared him for the nightmare he has navigated for the past month.

Robison is the owner of Atlanta Screenprints, which was burglarized in late January. The incident resulted in the loss of about $75,000 in equipment and roughly the same amount in lost revenue as the shop became unable to offer most of its services.

The culprit hasn’t been caught yet, but a nearby security camera recorded the theft as it unfolded, so Robison is able to construct a fairly clear picture of what happened during the nighttime incident at his Snellville, Georgia-based business.

In the video, the thief’s car is seen pulling into the company’s parking lot while it’s still daylight. After the sun goes down, he breaks into the building and cuts the power. “You know they were probably in a hurry, and they probably knew what the equipment was,” Robison said.

After multiple trips into and out of the building, the thief removed six pieces of equipment, including two Stahls’ heat presses, a Lawson pre-treat machine, an Epson digital printer, and a GCC vinyl cutter.

But the biggest blow came when he tried to load an Epson industrial DTG printer onto his truck, which proved too unwieldy for one man to handle. He dropped the printer onto the concrete, instantly turning the $54,000 machine into a hunk of junk. He then pushed it back into the building before making his getaway.

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The shop's Epson DTG printer was destroyed during the theft.

The shop’s Epson DTG printer was destroyed during the theft.

Now a little more than three weeks from the incident, Atlanta Screenprints is fully operational again. On Friday, the shop took delivery of a new Epson DTG printer, the last piece of equipment that needed to be replaced. Robison said being properly insured was the key to surviving the ordeal.

“I would strongly advise anybody that finds themselves in my shoes, or doesn’t want to find themselves in my shoes, to make sure you speak with your insurance and clarify how they pay and when they pay,” he said.

More advice: Consider investing in a top-quality security alarm. Robison humbly admits to installing a “pretty crappy” system – because merely having one was required by his insurance company – which didn’t prove helpful on the night of the theft.

The perpetrator remains at large, but Robison is hopeful Snellville police will catch up to him. They first must determine the getaway car’s license plate number, which wasn’t readable in the surveillance footage. To do that, police intend to use the available footage to compare the car with other vehicles that were in the proximity of Atlanta Screenprints on the day of the theft.

Robison has been documenting the incident and its aftermath on the company’s Instagram account. Those following along will soon see an update announcing the shop is back to running at full capacity.

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