Camera stores have become the targets of more and more thieves in recent years. While many of the reports involve nighttime break-ins, robbers do attempt to steal gear during store hours as well, and that’s what just happened to the well-known camera store The Camera Store.
The Calgary, Alberta, Canada-based store reports that a man entered the store on Thursday, May 16th, and went hands-on with a $2,800 Sony a7R III camera and a $2,200 Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lens. He then sprinted out of the store with the gear, and when the staff gave chase, he turned and sprayed them with bear spray.
“A middle-aged man in a grey jacket, dark pants, light runners, and sunglasses perched on his head,” the store writes. “We knew there was something “off” about him since the moment he walked in, and our team was on high-alert.”
“Sure enough, he reached down to check his phone for a moment, then dashed for the door with our camera in hand,” The Camera Store continues. “One staff member attempted to intercept him and was shoved out of the way. Two other employees chased him out foot down the street.
“The man paused and sprayed a can of bear spray towards our staff, then hopped into a black pick-up truck. Our camera was gone, and our staff’s eyes burned as they came back to the store where we called the Calgary police who were fast to respond to the scene.”
The store notes that it’s not its policy to chase down thieves — retail merchandise is usually insured, and employees put themselves at great risk with such confrontations.
But “the loyalty and bravery of the staff who risked their safety are commendable,” The Camera Store says.
If you come across a used Sony a7R III and 16-35mm f/2.8 for sale, report the listing to police if the serial numbers turn out to be #3372445 for the camera and #1803243 for the lens.
In December 2017, burglars smashed their way into The Camera Store and made off with $27,000 in Leica and Hasselblad gear.