A San Francisco photographer was taking when two young men approached her and demanded that she gave them her camera. She refused and attempted to run, but one of the men shot her in the leg.
As you know, my gear was stolen in broad daylight as the camera was rolling two weeks ago in a public San Francisco park.
Another photographer got hit this week near San Francisco and way worse than I did. He was parked near Battery Spencer Park in Sausalito, in the Marin Headlands, which offers one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge, and thieves bashed in his SUV windows and fled with multiple cameras, computers, hard drives, and more.
Call this a Stand-up Robbery.
But at least there was no gunplay.
This week I was in San Francisco, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, on a video shoot, in Crissy Field, one of the premier spots in town, at the foot of the majestic Golden Gate Bridge.
Thursday I was doing what they call in the trade a “stand-up,” at around 5:30 p.m. Tripod extended, camera mounted, microphones plugged in, and there I was, talking directly to the camera about great places in San Francisco for the best photography.
That’s when this young teen came running towards me, faster than you can imagine, with a giant grin on his face. He somehow was able to grab the entire tripod and camera operation, and shove it within seconds into the getaway car, a blue Honda.
It’s the kind of cruel irony you see in a scene from a movie or a TV show or something. Don Ford, a reporter for KPIX 5 News was shooting a story on the rise of robberies in San Francisco’s Twin Peaks neighbourhood since certain roads were closed off due to the pandemic. These roads had previously led to tourist attractions, but with local thieves’ main targets no longer visiting that area, they’ve restored to robbing the people that live there instead.
Ford was interviewing nearby homeowners about the robbers when a “white luxury sedan” vehicle pulled up outside one of the homes, three men stepped out, with a fourth remaining in the vehicle, and robbed Ford at gunpoint, proclaiming “we’re taking the camera”.
Camera gear gets stolen fairly regularly. It’s something we’re all cautious of and try to minimise the risk of it happening. But there are some events that cause us to lose our gear which just so brazen that it’s difficult to account for them. Something that real estate photographers Ben and Masha of Home Shoots discovered while driving home after a photoshoot.
While sitting in traffic waiting to get onto the Interstate 80 onramp on Friday afternoon, a car pulled up beside them. Somebody got out of the car, smashed their rear window, grabbed a bag containing over $7,000 worth of camera equipment and hopped back into their vehicle before racing off. And it all happened in just a few seconds.
During Sunday’s protests in New York city, luxury stores were ransacked, and Leica Store SoHo was among them. The store had its windows smashed and a lot of gear was stolen. According to witnesses, this looting could have been organized, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the protests that have been happening across the US.
On 25 December, while trying out his new camera he got for Christmas, photographer Robbie Valenzuela got robbed. A thief snatched the camera and jumped into his car. Valenzuela reportedly held onto the car for several blocks, which caused him to suffer a major head injury.
A few months ago, photographer Seth Miranda and a few other photographers had their gear stolen – by a fellow photographer. Seth and his colleagues had between $12,000 and $15,000 worth of gear stolen from their NYC studio. Seth went public about the case a few days ago, sharing the story with his Instagram followers now that the suspect has reportedly admitted to the crime.