San Francisco thieves steal $30,000 of equipment from filmmaker’s car

Jun 15, 2023

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

San Francisco thieves steal $30,000 of equipment from filmmaker’s car

Jun 15, 2023

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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San Francisco thieves steal $30,000 of equipment from filmmaker's car

A filmmaker and his father were robbed of around $30,000 of equipment which was left inside a locked vehicle for just ten minutes. While filming a scene for their latest documentary in San Francisco, filmmaker Eli Steele and his father, conservative author Shelby Steele, fell victim to the distressing robbery.

The pair parked their rental car, laden with valuable filmmaking equipment, near Lombard Street and stepped away for a mere ten minutes. However, upon their return, they were met with the devastating sight of shattered windows and the conspicuous absence of their gear, amounting to approximately $30,000 in value.

Steele spoke out about this unfortunate turn of events on Twitter. It left Steele disheartened, especially considering the lack of assistance they received from the local police, who, according to him, seemed incapable of providing aid due to their “defanged” state.

The initial estimate of $15,000 worth of stolen gear was later revised when Steele realized that more equipment had been taken than initially anticipated.

In his tweets, Steele bemoaned the state of San Francisco and its notorious reputation for criminal activity. He shared images and videos of the incident, including a poignant shot of his father peering into the vandalized car through the broken windows.

Surprised by the audacity of the crime, Steele emphasized that he had worked in dangerous neighbourhoods throughout his career but had never encountered a situation as alarming as this one.

Throughout the following hours, Steele continued to update his followers on the progress of the situation. Petapixel reports that Steele even managed to obtain surveillance footage of the break-in, thanks to the cooperation of a nearby resident whose property the SUV had been parked in front of. Steele acknowledged that the security footage was recorded using their iPhone.

Later, Steele recounted his visit to the police station to file a report. To his dismay, he found himself surrounded by other victims who had experienced similar thefts.

Should photographers avoid San Francisco?

DIYP has reported a spate of thefts and even armed robberies targeting photographers in the San Francisco and Bay area over the past couple of years. It sadly seems to be becoming more of a trend. Camera equipment is a high ticket item, relatively easy to offload, has few tracking or security devices, and generally is easy pickings.

That being said, it could just be that downtown San Franciso is generally not a place you want to be. Car rental company Hertz allegedly has around 30 car break-ins reported a day just in the San Francisco area alone.

Clearly, car break-ins are the bottom rung of the ladder of importance for crime fighters in San Francisco. In light of this, it would be sensible then to never leave any valuable items in your car if at all possible. Of course, if you bring them with you, you’re then inviting being mugged in person. Either way, you can’t really win.

Personally, I’d be upping my insurance if I was going to visit this city with my camera any time soon.

[Via Petapixel]

 

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Alex Baker

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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4 responses to “San Francisco thieves steal $30,000 of equipment from filmmaker’s car”

  1. Dee Brausch Avatar
    Dee Brausch

    I had $7500 worth stolen from my car in downtown Portland a couple months ago in the middle of the afternoon. Popped out my window. It’s such a helpless feeling.

    1. DIYPhotography Avatar
      DIYPhotography

      Dee Brausch sorry to hear man. Sucks big time

  2. Steve Woronko Avatar
    Steve Woronko

    It’s why you never leave anything in your car unattended in any city.

  3. ildiko Avatar
    ildiko

    The sad thing is that it is just getting worse, with no consequences.
    After buying my current car, the first thing was to disable the lever, so you need a key to the trunk. (With rental cars it is more problematic.) The thieves can still get to the content by laying the back seats down, but not right away, so it might save the situation, with the alarm on (depending on time & location). SUVs for this reason are out of question. People think I am paranoid when we leave the gear in the car & I wouldn’t be out of sight, but knowing what happened to so many fellow photographers, one can’t be overly cautious. Not only the gear, but the footage!