‘We’re all looking for each other’s things’ | String of burglaries hit production studios in Central Texas


Thieves have been breaking into several production companies in Central Texas, stealing tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment.

AUSTIN, Texas — Several film production companies in Central Texas are concerned about a recent series of targeted break-ins.

In late April, Andrew Bennett, the executive producer of Bennett Creative, a production company and marketing agency, got a call that someone was breaking into his business through the window. 

“My heart sunk to the ground as I was driving to the office at 3 a.m., just thinking about all the things that could go missing and just what a huge hit that could have been to our business,” Bennett said.

Fortunately for Bennett, the thieves at his business were scared off by the building’s alarms, and weren’t able to steal anything.

“Video production and marketing, it’s a competitive industry, we often operate on slim margins,” Bennett said. “You know, these are small businesses, medium sized businesses, so a hit like that, it would be devastating to our company.”

But other production companies weren’t as fortunate.

ProFor, a production company in Buda, got broken into on April 26. Thieves were able to steal around $70,000 worth of equipment. Clint Howell, the partner and producer at ProFor, said while the company had insurance, it was still a devastating loss.

“You lose that stuff, and that’s things that you also rent out as a part of your kit, as part of your, your livelihood, your well-being,” Howell said. “It’s a crushing loss whether there’s insurance or not.”

A day after Bennett’s break-in, he posted in a Facebook group with other production members in and around the Austin area, finding out that within the same time frame, several other companies had experienced break-ins.

“A buddy of mine had just told me that his studio had been broken into, and at the time, I thought that that was just like a one-off, just like an unfortunate event,” Bennett said. “Then it happened to us, like a week later.”

Caster Studios in Dripping Springs told KVUE that thieves broke in and stole a box truck full of expensive rented gear, including cameras and lenses.

Both ProFor and Caster Studios have filed police reports, but neither Buda PD nor the Hays County Sheriff’s Department have made any arrests, and none of the stolen equipment has been recovered.

“We’re all looking for each other’s things, no one’s found anything,” Howell said.

The Austin School of Film also told KVUE that thieves broke in twice, leaving a large hole in their window. During the first break-in, the school says thieves stole camera gear and lenses that weren’t 100% functional, but didn’t take anything during the second break-in.

The production studios KVUE spoke with said they haven’t seen any of their gear advertised to sell on any sites online. Now, all they want is justice.

“We want these guys caught,” Bennett said. “We want this to stop. It’s driving the community crazy that they haven’t been caught.”

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