On Thursday, 16 May 2019, The Camera Store in Canada was robbed. A man took a Sony A7R III and Sony 16-35mm F2.8 G Master lens, and when the staff tried to stop him – the man attacked them with bear spray and managed to escape.
In Manchester, New Hampshire, four thieves broke into at Hunt’s Photo and Video. They smashed a glass door with an ax, filled huge buckets with gear and stormed out. They were caught on the store’s security camera and the footage shows that they did it all in just 53 seconds.
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.
On December 16, 2017, Calgary-based business The Camera Store had $35,000 worth of gear stolen from their store. The thieves took high-end gear, including a Leica MP Safari kit, a Hasselblad X1D camera, and three lenses. They are offering a $5,000 reward for any information that leads to a conviction.
For two weeks now, there has been an ongoing scam that caused twenty people from LA to lose thousands of dollars in camera gear. A user under the name “Andy Mai” uses Facebook Marketplace and Venmo payment system to pull the scam and steal the gear.
Four victims of the scam have been verified, and in total they lost $25,000. However, after two sellers shared their story, it turned out that there may be as many as 20 scammed people, with the total loss of as much as $100,000. As it turns out, the scam occurs mainly because the sellers are unfamiliar with the Venmo’s policy, And in addition to this, the scammer(s) keep making new accounts and pulling off the same scam all over again.
After a massive theft in Veydra HQ, Midwest Photo Exchange in Columbus, Ohio suffered a robbery too. In the late night of March 15th, someone broke into their new facility, stealing hundreds of gear elements. As MPEX tells DIYP, it appears that the thieves planned the break in advance. It also appears that it was carried out by experienced individuals.
Modern cameras allow photographers to remove and change the lens fast, using only one hand. Unfortunately, it also makes it easier for thieves to steal the lenses directly off the camera. This is why photographer Rutger Geerling created Mark’s Lens Safe. It’s an accessory that protects the release button of your camera, making it impossible to remove the lens with one hand. He created it as an open source design for 3D printers, so everyone can download and print it for their camera.
Having one’s camera gear stolen is the nightmare of every photographer. The nightmare for those that steal it? Being arrested by the guy you’re trying to sell it to. But, that’s exactly what happened to two thieves who stole from a visiting photographer in the middle of a session with a client.
Chicago based photographer Mirlanbek Murzapazylov was hired by a couple to photograph them on Wednesday inside Prospect Park in Brooklyn. During the course of the session, he put down his Canon 5D Mark III to take photos with a second camera. When he turned around, it was gone, along with a $1,500 lens and Glidecam stabiliser.
Having camera gear stolen sucks. Having camera gear stolen while out on assignment really sucks. Veteran sports photographer Gary Hershorn can testify to that first hand. While covering the ongoing 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, Gary looked away for a second to put something in his bag, only to turn around and find that $18,000 worth of his gear had just been stolen.
Being robbed is like a punch to the stomach. Seeing someone making money with your stolen possessions and not being able to do anything about it is just a swift kick to the gonads.
That’s exactly what Australian photographer Jon Grundy experienced when a daredevil photographer [name removed] broke into Grundy’s home and stole $15k worth of gear. The thief then used the gear to shoot photos that he offered for sale online in addition to garnering much media attention from his dangerous exploits. But, one thing the thief hadn’t counted on was that each of his photos was meta-tagged with the name of the photographer from whom he stole.