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.
As mentioned previously on this site, I use the Fat Llama website to loan out some of my photography gear when not in use, and I’ve been very happy with the extra beer money… well up until last week that is, as my camera kit was stolen!
Let’s rewind a bit and go through exactly what happened, how I was dealt with by the Fat Llama team and my thoughts on how to better protect yourself if you use Fat Llama or something similar.
Photographer Hugh Lloyd recently had his gear stolen at Rome Ciampino airport in Italy. And as if it weren’t bad enough, in his gear bag there were memory cards with all the photos of his friends’ wedding. The distressed couple has made a public plea to the thieves to at least return the memory cards, and they’re hoping that it will reach whoever took the camera with the cards.
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.
When their gear gets stolen, it happens that photographers discover it listed for sale online. Some of them manage to retrieve it, even if it takes a few years. This is what happened to a photographer who goes by the name Mr. Greenshirt. When his trusted and distinct-looking Fujifilm X100T got stolen, he soon recognized it in a Kijiji listing. So, he got in touch with the police and helped to set up a sting operation and catch the thief.
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.
I was shooting a family formal portrait after a wedding ceremony at a church in Arcadia, California. My backpack was placed 3 rows from the front of the pew, to the side, along with my assistant’s camera bag. An outsider came into the church and then knocked over a flower vase that was filled with water. Everyone, including the bride and groom, myself and my assistant watched the commotion after hearing glass shatter. I then told the wedding couple it was time to get back to the family formal portrait-taking, because the church lady was rushing us…we were short on time.
Sometimes it takes only a day or two to return stolen camera gear to its owners. But other times, it takes a bit longer. Ten years longer. A decade after her DSLR was stolen from her apartment in downtown Winnipeg, marine biologist Kristin Westdal got it back. And the funny thing is – she is now giving it away.
On Wednesday night, two men from Garland, Texas were shot to death after an attempt to recover a stolen camera. 26-year-old Michael Ryan Love scheduled a meeting after seeing a camera on OfferUp. He believed it was the camera that had been stolen from him, and he wanted to recover it from the seller, which ended in a tragedy.