An armed robbery recently occurred in San Francisco, the city that keeps earning a bad rep for camera thefts. Four masked thieves burst into a Leica store near Union Square. While holding the employees at gunpoint, they stole $178,000 worth of gear and fled the scene only a few minutes later.
It happened again in San Francisco.
A wedding photographer was attacked while covering portraits at the beautiful Palace of Fine Arts, yet another in a long line of terrible situations playing out in a city that has chosen, for whatever reason, not to crack down on these series of camera crimes.
Two masked men recently attacked a photographer in San Francisco. The men were holding him at gunpoint, trying to take his gear bag. As he was struggling and holding on to his gear, the thugs pistol-whipped him, causing him multiple injuries.
The terrifying incident took place in broad daylight at the Palace of Fine Arts. It’s a popular location crowded with people, and someone managed to catch it all on camera.
I was in San Francisco this week to make an appearance on KRON4 TV, plugging PhotowalksTV (thank you Ken Maccarone!) and in-between, naturally, cruised all over the city photographing the magic.
I didn’t get robbed of camera gear this time, but it did happen near me, in real-time, to two people, as I stood in Alamo Square, photographing the “Painted Ladies,” the row of Victorian homes made famous in the opening credits to the old “Full House” TV show.
If you missed the explosive report by KGO-TV reporter Dan Noyes on the theft epidemic in San Francisco, I want to both share his stories, and offer some common-sense solutions to a problem that’s gotten way out of hand.
You know that thieves in San Francisco (and elsewhere) are smashing the windows of cars to rob stuff, sensing that the police won’t chase or arrest them. Photographers have been followed by thieves, had their gear taken, which got quickly resold on the streets. They easily move laptops in broad daylight, and even though they’ve been recorded on video doing so, the city continues to allow it to happen, with few arrests.
Reporter Dan Noyes spoke to a San Francisco man who revealed that many of the stolen goods are sold in the street, often hours after the theft. One of the locations for these transactions is an open-air market at Garfield Square in the Mission District, and it’s all happening in broad daylight!
A Canadian film crew was recently robbed at a gunpoint in San Francisco’s Twin Peaks parking lot. Two men attacked them from a car, and it’s estimated that they took the gear worth $35,000.
Since Twin Peaks is a popular spot, there was another group of people in the car behind. They filmed the entire incident, where you can see one of the victims getting pistol-whipped and the other held at a gunpoint.
San Francisco isn’t the most visited U.S. city. In fact it’s no. 5, after New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Orlando, attracting 3.3 million visitors yearly, per the World Atlas.
But it happens to be the most photogenic, IMHO, with more photo eye candy per square mile than its competitors.
Think about it—the New York Empire State Building or the Golden Gate Bridge? Disney World or Cable Cars?
As you know, there has sadly been a raft of camera thefts in San Francisco of late, putting a spotlight on places you might want to think twice about hauling expensive camera gear with you the next time you visit.
The news reports on the thefts usually aren’t very specific about the exact location of the heists, so I thought I’d simply point them out here, in a little more detail, before you, like me, get victim to camera theft in the city.
A wedding photographer recently got assaulted in the middle of doing his job. While photographing a wedding couple in San Francisco, the photographer got assaulted and two men tried to steal his gear.