It’s unfortunate that this is a piece of advice we need to give, but alas, it’s necessary: never leave your camera gear unattended. One photographer recently learned that lesson the hard way at an outdoor wedding he was shooting when he was deprived of some $6,000 of camera equipment in one fell swoop. And what’s more, the entire theft was caught on camera by the wedding’s videographer. Read more…
Posts Tagged ‘theft’
One of the downsides to living in an uber-connected digital world is the ease with which intellectual property can be stolen. Whichever bogus excuse they choose to use, many people seem less than concerned when it comes to stealing someone’s photography and claiming it as their own these days.
This is Hafid. About 4 months ago, Hafid stole a phone from a German tourist who was vacationing on the island of Ibiza, Spain. Hafid didn’t, however, delete the original owner’s Dropbox app or disable the automatic upload feature.
Thou shalt not steal.
It’s one of the first things we learn as kids: don’t take something that doesn’t belong to you. And it’s a hard lesson to learn, for as children, we feel the entire world belongs to us. I learned this lesson the hard way. No, I didn’t shoplift…I stole little metal ashtrays from a Burger King in Panama City, Florida. I did it. I admit it.
Camera equipment has long been attractive to the eyes of thieves. After all, it’s generally portable, pricey, and a piece of cake to sell through channels such as Craigslist. In Northern California, robbers have begun targeting photojournalists at gunpoint in order to snatch their gear.
Developer Trevor Sehrer, a Google engineer by day, has been working on a website that aims to help combat the theft of photography gear. It’s called Lenstag, and is an online equipment registry that makes it easier to report and track stolen cameras and lenses.
Back in 2011, the BBC show The Real Hustle shared how easy it is for thieves to quickly and quietly steal an expensive lens off your camera — even when your gear is hanging around your neck. If you didn’t believe it then, check out the video above. It reportedly shows a photographer having his lens stolen by a group of robbers over in Russia.
In case you don’t know it, cameras and lenses are prime theft targets. You may never think it’s going to happen to you, but almost every day I hear from someone who is missing thousands of dollars worth of gear with no hope of getting it back.
My gear rental company has lots of experience with preventing theft and recovering stolen items. I’m not going to give specifics about all the exact measures we take; that would be like leaving a blueprint for those who want to steal our gear. But we’ve learned a lot and have at least tried everything I’m going to talk about today.
Apparently robbers in Northern California are starting to learn that photojournalists typically shoot with pretty expensive gear. The New York Times reports that robbers have been targeting news photographers in recent months, sometimes at gunpoint:
Last August, Laura Oda, chief photographer for The Oakland Tribune, was photographing people painting the mural when she spotted someone in her peripheral vision. “Within seconds they were on me,” she said, “one in front and one in back.” Armed, they pulled cameras off her neck and grabbed her bag of cameras and a laptop from her car.
Three months later, Ms. Oda was photographing cars at a busy intersection when she was again robbed of her camera, at gunpoint once more. For a while, she avoided the streets of Oakland. She has since returned but has established a new rule: she does not stay in one place for more than five minutes.
One veteran photojournalist has already lost five cameras to robbery. Each successful theft nets the robbers between $3,000 to $50,000 in gear — gear that hasn’t been turning up on the secondary market (e.g. craigslist).