Star Wars group’s costumes stolen in Atlanta

Some Star Wars costumes were stolen Friday in Atlanta. (Special Photo)

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Some Star Wars costumes were stolen Friday in Atlanta. (Special Photo)

The end of 2016 turned out to be a doozy for Bobby Shively.

Just days ago, he and legions of other Star Wars megafans around the world mourned the death of actress Carrie Fisher, who played the iconic Princess Leia in the popular movie franchise.

Now, he is facing another loss.

On Friday night, thieves made off with two high-end, custom-made Star Wars costumes that were packed away in Shively’s burgundy Escalade. which was parked in front of the Taco Mac restaurant in Virginia-Highland.

Gone are Darth Vader and a female stormtrooper costumes, perhaps spirited away to some far-off galaxy, but more likely hidden in someone’s basement or an internet classified or shopping site.

Shively said the thieves most likely saw the costumes going into the SUV and struck when he and a few friends went in the restaurant to eat around 10:30 p.m. They had just participated in an ASPCA fundraiser.

“My heart dropped,” he said. He noticed a rear door was open on the SUV. “I looked back and the cases were gone. I honestly didn’t know what to do at the time. I was shocked that someone would do that right in front of the restaurant on a busy street.”

Shively is commanding officer of the Georgia Garrison of the 501st Legion, part of an international club that performs charity work using Star Wars costumes. Locally they have raised for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and other organizations.

So far, no arrests have been made, he said, but there may be video footage of the theft. A spokeswoman for the Atlanta Police Department, which was called to the incident, could not provide additional information.

Shively, who lives in Suwanee and works in marketing, has a message for the thieves.

“You don’t know the power of the dark side,” he said. “Just bring them back. They’re used to make kids happy. They’re used to visit children in the hospital and to raise money for animals.”

Combined, the costumes are worth about $5,500, but Shively thinks they will be hard to sell because they are so unique and have special markings.

“They’re going to be hard to sell within the costuming community, for sure,” he said. “Very few of these helmets are in existence. A big fan can really tell the difference.”