Not much is worse than a thief

ImageMy name is Joe Hegarty and I am a tattoo artist here in beautiful Roanoke,Virginia,where I have been tattooing for 23 years. The other night, on the weekend the time was changing, someone broke into my tattoo studio, 9 Tattoo, on Orange Ave. They threw a brick through the back window and came and took all of my tattoo gear, and Sean Adams as well, right down to the spray bottles, inks, power supplies, needles, anything tattoo related.They didn’t steal my guitar,camera,computer, or stereo. Just hit our tattoo equipment. They emptied a gallon of water all over the place and ruined the new floors we worked so hard on putting down, and tore up a spot in the gallery with the brick.  The alarm went off but they were quick enough to get away.

Some of the tattoo machines that were stolen are one of a kind. Two of them were made for me personally by Mike Fitts. One is a “Zappamatic” and the other a “Houses of the Holy”.

 This photo shows a few of the machines, but there were a lot more.


I am offering a reward of $999.99 for information leading to the arrest/conviction of the person/persons that did this to us. If you know something, please give me a call at (540)-9-Tattoo , (540)-982-8866

Thankfully, we did have some extra power units and machines and gear at our sister shop, Alex’s Tattoo so we didn’t get completely screwed.

They can steal our stuff, but they can’t rob us of our talent!

We are still the best tattoo shops in town!

thor1 joetribal 945189_4822488844682_326721548_n Dragonfly-Tattoo-25

(All tattoos by Joe Hegarty/9 Tattoo Roanoke,Virginia)

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47 Responses to Not much is worse than a thief

  1. 9tattoo says:

    I really hope someone sees this and knows something.

  2. Elisa Keith says:

    Joe, I’m sorry to hear about this. I hope someone will find your belongings and return them to you and those that did it will be justly punished.

  3. Sandy Thompson says:

    It’s sad that people work so hard, to find their talent, become the best at it, and strive to offer the best to their community, and some sorry, disgusting, “piece of crap”, that is too sorry to work to support their self or their habits, breaks into their business and steals their tools! I hope they find the ones responsible and lock them up for years! They will answer for their actions one day!

  4. Victoria Carter-Collins says:

    This Is Just Awful,People Are Going Crazy!!!!

  5. WBFD125 says:

    Are you having a feud with any other tattoo shops? Because taking only tattoo equipment doesn’t sound like something a simple thief would do.

  6. Bryan Knox says:

    Man that sucks. I hate to hear it. Loosing belongings is bad enough but destroying your floor adds insult to injury. I hope they catch the delinquent idiots who find it easier to steal than work for a living. Your outlook of nobody can steal your talent is a positive one so keep on keeping on.

  7. TC Scearce says:

    I’d hate to say it but this sounds like an inside job my man.

    • Mel says:

      Yea i agree with you TC if not a inside job someone that has been comen in there checken shit out for awhile to see what’s up where ya going be at ect… but whoever it was just remember you POS what comes around goes aroundd I’d watch my a– if I was you !!

  8. Kurt wiscombe says:

    Sorry this happened to you! If I hear anything I’ll let you know.

  9. Gail says:

    Hi guys I’m sorry to hear about your situation, I can fully understand how you feel myself and my husband are in the tattooing industry and our shop was burgled in 2010, it is sickening, I hope you find who done this

  10. thomas wayne says:

    this happened to me ..the cops told me too look inhouse for the thief …. if they knew were the gear was they knew the shop and dang if it wasnt true

  11. Allistair Crowley says:

    You did my first tattoo in 1999 Joe. If I find the trash who did this, your belongings will be returned, the trash responsible will be skinned alive and left in the wilderness. I can abide much of the darker side of human nature, but thievery and the dishonesty it accompanies are beyond my compassion. My entire club will have an ear to the ground over this, and we’ll do all we can to help. -Asphalt Assault M.V.C Covington VA

  12. gerard fitzgerald says:

    that fella with d half dog half bear…pic above…id say is a likely candidate..what a tatt…..seriously…i hope they nail d cunts…..

  13. Roy Caviness says:

    Wow!!! I’m so mad this morning to wake up and hear this news!! It takes the lowest person to steal another mans hard work and dreams just because they are so dam lazy to get out and work for something instead of just stealing.I had the same happen to me in another way but I was fortunate to have been able to catch them and got my stuff back!! Joe I will keep my eyes and ears open my friend and I hope I catch them for you,nothing more than that would make me so happy to be able to help you bring them to justice!!! Good luck Joe !!

  14. BOWERY STAN says:


    • 9tattoo says:

      Eddie is the man! I wish I had your collection now though, Stan! I will hope and pray that I see my machines again! Tell Eddie to keep an eye out for them as well!

  15. Gatlin says:

    There was a small group of guys that did a very similar smash and grab to Sleepys Ink tattoo on s. pollard a few years ago. Maybe you can contact Tim Wilson (i think he is working at that new shop in Vinton near the old Lil Ceasers). He would remember better details about the hit as it was his shop.

  16. Carrie Crawford says:

    Sounds like somebody with a personal beef with you or someone at your shop. I hope they catch up with whomever did this! Maybe take a look at some of these self-proclaimed “I-do-tattoos-in-my-nasty-apartment” ass hats.

  17. Brian says:

    What a piece of shit. We need to find them hold them down tattoo their eyballs, then tattoo the word thief on their forehead, but spell it wrong,theef

  18. i bet someone who lives in northwest did this. hell they probably live on orange avenue or even on the streets near it.
    i hope the asshole or assholes are found and convicted for this crime. that’s just sad that they had to rob your store but hey, they can’t steal your talent, like you had said 🙂

  19. Phillip Johnson says:

    Hey! I live in B-burg…will keep my eyes open….I’m an artist myself…If you need anything let me know……needles…have bunches…..HOPE YOU CATCH THESE FOOLS! SOME PEOPLE SUCK! KARMA IS A BITCH! STEAL A MAN’S TOOLS….NOTHING WORSE……PEACE

  20. Farnk Hoover says:

    Hey Joe Sorry to hear this and i hope Karma slams a brick in there face so hard they hit there own floor and make a mess out of them stay strong bro Karma comes in ten folds remember that

  21. Jennifer says:

    I know everyone so I will ask around!! I’m so sorry this happened to u! If I hear anything I will let u know!

  22. raul says:

    sorry for your lost, but it seems more a personal problem with somebody who just wanted to screw you, not to robe you. I will check out new tattoo shops in town, some people starts their business by screwing the other business around first. I’m talking from the experience.

  23. Jason says:

    Bro you know who stole your stuff, bc that was a personal, they didnt want money they wanted payback, thats why they put water on your floor… So you know who did it, you just need to think about who you pissed off in the past few months

  24. It's just a guess says:

    Sounds like something two loser brothers would do if they wanted to host a tattoo marathon. Hint.

  25. Misty Akers says:

    Sorry that someone could be so evil.’

  26. sam terry says:

    That sucks brother I just had my last boss decide to pull a stunt like this and steal all my machines, It sucks people feel its right to try and do that to someone busting there ass to make a living. Best of luck to you and your shop brother. You got it right when you said they can rob your equipment but not your talent. Your a badass tattoo artist and you will bounce back better than ever, let the anger from them stealing your equipment motivate you to work harder and to move forward. I know it sucks and I feel your pain bud, tattoo machines are like our children especially our handmade ones but it just comes down to the world is full of shitty people, and until its legal to shoot someone, we just have to deal with them. Best of luck to you brother

  27. ashley says:

    this is sad, that people who has to steal from people like this. i cant belive people are so cruel.

  28. You are right, thieves are selfish jerks. Best of luck to you in finding and getting your equipment back.

  29. Virginia Gilley Gray says:

    Sorry to hear about the break in Joe… I work on Williamson rd and I will keep my ears open…alot of my customers have tats.

  30. Bayard says:

    Hey, Joe…. did not know you moved….sorry you got robbed…bad neighborhood?

  31. hmmmmmm... says:

    Karma is real…it will come back to you.what you put out you receive. if you steal from someone else (be it time, monetary objects, or the ability to support yourself with work) you will be treated the same eventually. do you believe in karma?

  32. cj says:

    So sorry to hear this Joe.. Passed along.. I hope they find them. Nothing worse than a thief….

  33. Scott says:

    Not a tattoo artist but an artist. I can only imagine what it feels like. I’m sorry for humanity bro. Stay frosty and don’t let the bastards get you down.

  34. Wayne Hoysradt says:

    Joe sounds like the work of a jealous stupid asshole who will slip up and run their mouth.Trust me I know lots of people and someone’s going to hear about it. I will personally stomp a mud hole in their ass. To the asshole who done this I know your reading these replys your day is coming. Joe sorry for your loss.This pisses me off to no end.

  35. Julia Barker says:

    What dirt bags…they’re obviously low life nobodies with no talent, no backbone, no scruples, no integrity and no morals. Karma, my friend, IS a bitch and I have a feeling they’ll be meeting her VERY soon. People like this are SO stupid, they’ll have to brag about their “big adventure” with their loser friends. They will narc themselves out. PLEASE share with your many dedicated followers once this has been resolved!!!! My money’s on YOU!!!!

  36. Micah says:

    I noticed that there’s a bunch of tattoo stuff on sale on craigslist:
    I don’t know if it’s yours, but it’s good to keep watching places like that to see if it might turn up.

  37. Kimberly Roy says:

    sorry this happened to you. My friends shop in Lewiston Maine just got robbed itself, they took all of the equipment but lefteverything else there was even cash there and they didn’t take it.

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