EDMONTON - A local tattoo artist says his business was dealt a significant blow after someone broke into his SUV while he was at a trade show in Calgary over the weekend.

“The very last night of the show, I parked at the Airbnb, and my car got broken into, and all my stuff was taken,” artist Aza Samchuck told CTV News Edmonton.

Samchuck and his son, who is his apprentice, were in Calgary for a tattoo trade show when someone smashed a window in the SUV and stole ink, tattoo equipment, promotional material, and original artwork by both men. He estimates the total value of the loss at about $40,000.

Samchuk says his son’s portfolio represents two years’ worth of work, and has left him to start from scratch.

“He had gotten his tattoo gear together, a full set of inks, a full set of everything, a full set of portfolios so he could finally graduate as an apprentice and start tattooing at the shows with me and he basically had everything taken.”

The duo says they have insurance, and they expect most of their losses will be covered; they’re just trying to raise awareness in hopes of catching the thief.

A report has been filed with the Calgary Police Service, and they have notified pawn shops in the area to be on the lookout for the equipment.