$3,000,000 worth of stolen Hollywood film equipment found in Argentina

Sep 17, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

$3,000,000 worth of stolen Hollywood film equipment found in Argentina

Sep 17, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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If you’ve been working in Hollywood lately and noticed a piece of equipment disappearing here and there, it might currently be in Argentina. Sky News reports that a huge haul estimated to be worth around $3 million has been discovered in Argentine as part of a cooperative investigation by the FBI, US Police, US Embassy and Argentinian Federal Police.

The haul seems to be primarily Arri equipment, although there seems to be a fair bit of Canon & Sony kit, too, judging from the video posted by Sky News. Argentinian police say that the equipment was being targeted in Hollywood and other US cities before being smuggled into the country. It was then being sold to local gear rental companies.

And if you want to know what makes up $3 million worth of filming equipment, there is a list…

  • 17 computers
  • 33 tripods
  • 224 precision cinema lenses
  • 69 cinema cameras
  • 8 stills cameras
  • 82 professional use lights
  • 29 ballasts
  • 3 “panels” (presumably LED)
  • 11 bags
  • 7 screens
  • 15 generators
  • 6 equipment cases
  • 6 monitors
  • 52 batteries
  • 2 microphones

Oh yeah, that’s a whole lot of kit. Sky News doesn’t want to let me embed the video, so head on over to their site to see the full scale of just how much gear there is. They also report that four people in the USA have been arrested, with 17 suspects identified in Argentina. They say that some of the items have also come from locations in New York and other parts of California.

This must have been going on for quite a while for so much kit to have disappeared. Even if it was only one or two items each from a bunch of different companies, it’s amazing that they managed to sneak it all out of the USA and into other another country. And it likely was kit from many different companies. Because when there’s a break in and a huge amount of kit is stolen, we typically hear about it. The photo & video world is still relatively small.

Way back in 2014, California retailers saw over $1 million worth of Blackmagic cameras stolen. In 2015, LenProToGo was broken into and $600K worth of gear was taken. In March last year, Midwest Photo Exchange was burgled with hundreds of cameras and lenses stolen. Lens manufacturer Veydra was also broken into during the same month, with over 200 lenses taken. Then there was the Sony truck stolen last April while on its way to NAB in Las Vegas. Even relatively small break-ins make the photo news. Like last December when thieves broke into The Camera Store and stole $35K’s worth of Leica & Hasselblad gear (they got it back).

No word on what’s going to happen to all the gear recovered. Presumably, insurance companies will have already paid out for many of the items as they’ve been reported missing.

[via Sky News]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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4 responses to “$3,000,000 worth of stolen Hollywood film equipment found in Argentina”

  1. Mark Turner Avatar
    Mark Turner

    Maybe trying to raise cash for a new General Belgrano?

    1. Nacho Avatar
      Nacho

      Not funny. 323 people died on that ship.

  2. Frank Nazario Avatar
    Frank Nazario

    they should auction these and the profits shared on NoN Profit entities…

  3. Andrés Miraglia Avatar
    Andrés Miraglia

    Maybe somebody finds my stolen d800 there… its SN is 3073685… Just in case… :-(