Thieves Steal Camera But Mail Back SD Card With Photos, Call it ‘Karma’

Barra airport
One of the photos that was stolen along with the camera but subsequently returned to the photographer.

A photographer who left his expensive camera on a bench was later sent the SD card with his photos along with a letter saying that it was “karma.”

Greg Crawford left his $2,440 (£2,000) camera behind while holidaying with his wife Julie on the Outer Hebrides in Scotland after viewing a small airstrip on the island of Barra.

After realizing he had left the camera behind, 56-year-old Crawford got a friend to see if it was still there — which it wasn’t.


Crawford tried to find the camera on Facebook but heard nothing until a letter arrived at the Barra police station that contained the couple’s SD card that had their holiday photos on it. The typed letter contained justification for the thieves’ actions.

“We found a camera at the bench on Barra Airport on the 6th of September,” reads the letter.

“We decided that we would keep it as it was obviously meant to be found by us … and we sold it to fund our holiday.

“We believe this was karma. We have returned the memory card as we realize there will be memories of somebody’s holiday in there.”

Outer Hebrides
The SD card contained photos of the Outer Hebrides Crawford had taken while on holiday.

Outer Hebrides

Crawford says that when the police contacted him, he assumed they had found the camera but was left stunned by the thieves’ brazenness.

“We were on holiday with our motorhome to tour the Outer Hebrides, starting with Barra. Around the time we were leaving, we decided to have another run down to the beach to watch the planes landing and taking off,” explains Crawford.

“We went down to the bench at the end of the runway on the beach. We parked the motorhome behind the bench. My wife sat on the left side of the bench, and I sat on the right — but when we went to leave, the camera was still sat between us and neither of us realized.”

Greg Crawford and his wife Julie
Greg Crawford and his wife Julie on their trip to the island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides.

“We went to the ferry, but when we got off on the other side, we realized that we didn’t have the camera. I have a friend who is a crew member on the ferry, so I contacted him. He went back to the bench to check – but it was gone. We posted on Facebook and nothing ever came of it — until Tuesday last week,” he continues.

“We received a phone call from Barra Police. The policewoman I spoke to told me she had good news and bad news – I thought they’d found the camera. She went on to explain that they had received a typed letter inside an envelope sealed with tape. The letter said that these people found the camera on the bench — but believed it was a sign for them to fund their holidays.

“The postmark on the letter was from England — so it was probably a tourist! They believed that it was meant to happen, so they took the camera, and they sold it on. They said they felt guilty because there were photographs on the memory card, so they returned the memory card to the police. We couldn’t believe it — how can anybody think like that?”

Crawford says he intends to replace the camera with a second-hand version. Unfortunately, his insurance company won’t cover it “because it was an unattended loss.”

Despite losing the camera, Crawford and his wife intend to go back to the Outer Hebrides.

Image credits: Photographs by Greg Crawford/SWNS