Mac Star Cameras and Electronics in Corona, California, was robbed last month and newly released security footage from inside the store shows 13 people ransacking the store and making off with around $65,000 worth of products in about three minutes.
CBS Los Angeles reports that the 13 suspects began stealing products after a thief crashed through the store’s exterior on April 17.
“A lot of the items that they took were for professional photographers,” says Melissa Delgado, the store’s manager.
This isn’t the first time thieves have targeted Mac Star Cameras and Electronics. Local police didn’t say how many times the store has been robbed, but the store’s owners say they’ve been victimized seven times in the roughly two years they’ve been in business.
Nearly a month after the latest robbery, no arrests have been made. However, police recovered the vehicle used to break into the store and are reportedly waiting for analysis of “several pieces of evidence found in the car,” according to CBS Los Angeles.
Within the store, police say they recovered an ID and a cell phone, so it seems plausible that they know the identity of at least one of the culprits.
Police are also investigating the possibility of the robbery being connected to a series of similar break-ins in Burbank, California, which is about 50 miles from Corona. In the recent Burbank burglaries, criminals used a vehicle to ram into a pair of stores before making off with about $70,000 in merchandise. (https://www.cbsnews.com/losangeles/news/burglars-steal-70000-worth-of-merchandise-in-pair-of-overnight-break-ins/) These robberies were also committed by a large group of more than a dozen individuals.
Unfortunately, this is far from the first camera store robbery in recent months. Earlier this month, PetaPixel shared news of burglars making off with over $30,000 of gear from The Camera Store in western Canada.
Fortunately, nobody was injured in that case and the robbery in Corona, CA. That can’t be said of a violent theft at San Jose Camera and Video in the Bay Area, where an employee was rushed to the hospital for treatment of injuries sustained during the robbery. Five men were later arrested in connection to the robbery and assault.
Another camera store robbery occurred last December in the Bay Area, when Mike’s Cameras in Dublin, California, experienced a smash-and-grab just as the store opened.
The Leica Store near Union Square in San Francisco was hit by thieves in November when a group of four armed robbers make off with nearly $200,000 in camera equipment during their brazen daytime robbery.
The Bay Area is infamously dangerous for photographers, as PetaPixel explored in an article last December. The mayor’s office told PetaPixel that the city and its police force are working on making people feel safer in the city, including photographers who regularly have valuable equipment on their person.