Mac’s Beer and Wine in Midtown was victimized early Wednesday morning when thieves utilized a vehicle to conduct a destructive smash-and-grab.
According Atlanta Police Officer Kim Jones, at around 4:50 a.m., thieves smashed a stolen blue Dodge Durango through the large metal and glass doors of the store located at 21 Peachtree Place in the heart of Midtown.
After quickly raiding the business of high-end liquors and champagnes, the thieves made their getaway in a second stolen vehicle, a white van, leaving the sport utility vehicle stuck in the store amid broken bottles and spilled spirits everywhere.
By 11 a.m. when reached by Patch, owner Mac Thurston was still assessing the damage.
“On a cursory look at this point, we know there are certain high-end items missing,” he said. “We figured they had cased us well in advance. They were in the store for less than 90 seconds and they knew where everything was relative to the shelf, how to gain entry to certain cabinets if they needed to because they brought a strong bar.”
Thurston has operated Mac’s in Midtown for 26 years, but this is the first time that his store has been robbed or burglarized since he moved to its current location at the corner of Peachtree Place and West Peachtree eight-and-a-half years ago.
He said the crooks ignored the safe and instead loaded up on “the highest end cognac you can buy, the highest end champagne.”
“The good news is that they didn’t come in during operating hours with shotguns,” Thurston said. “Instead they steal cars and force entry by any means necessary. Whatever they took, and we still haven’t calculated that exactly, times that by 5, 6, 8, 10 and that’s what they broke doing it. There was just an insurmountable amount of broken bottles.”
After reviewing store surveillance video, Thurston said the crime was committed in “military fashion.” The Durango was used to speed across the parking lot and smash rear-end first into the store, and then “three or four people evacuated from the van” to steal the alcohol.
Atlanta police said no arrests have been made, as the investigation continues. On Wednesday, while workers repaired the damage and shoppers stepped around taped off areas inside and outside the store, Thurston credited the quick response from authorities.
“It’s unfortunate, but I’m not going to say it’s the cost of doing business because I don’t expect this in the city,” he said. “But people were on site quick and we can thank Midtown Blue for that, They were Johnny-on-the-spot.”