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Were The Film Set Heists In Atlanta An Inside Job?

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Jeremy Pack is the general manager of a company based just outside Atlanta that loans out high-end digital cameras and lenses. Pack moved to Atlanta from Los Angeles in 2018, a decade into the existence of Georgia’s uniquely generous tax-credit program for movie and television production, which has transformed the state into arguably the most popular shooting location in the country. During the 2021 fiscal year, film and TV productions spent four billion dollars in Georgia, and received rebates topping a billion dollars. A chunk of that money goes to renting expensive cameras and related equipment.

The company’s main office and storage center sit in a strip mall in the suburb of Smyrna, half an hour northwest of Atlanta’s downtown. “It’s not a great area,” Pack said, of the location. But it’s not particularly crime-ridden. The storage center holds a lot of valuable stuff. “We’d just lock everything up and, for the first two and a half years, pretty much think nothing of it,” Pack told me. That changed on a Monday morning in January, 2021, after Pack woke in the wee hours to a ping from the company’s security system: intruders.

Pack drove to the storage center, but, by the time he arrived, the intruders were gone, along with cameras and lenses valued at around a quarter of a million dollars. Afterward, he studied footage from the company’s security camera. “You could see three people,” he told me. “They jimmied the outer door to the place, and got into the second one like it was nothing.” His employees had left some things in a staging area for soon-to-rent items. “They started there,” Pack said, referring to the thieves, “and then one of the three was, like, ‘No, no, no, it’s in here, it’s in here.’ ” The building’s alarm was blaring, but the thieves seemed unbothered. “They knew how much time they had,” Pack said. They took only the most expensive gear, and they were gone in under three minutes. See the rest at The New Yorker.

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