Someone Stole All My Friend’s Photo Gear

I’ve had two cameras stolen in the last five years or so. I lost a Canon 10D with a 28-135 lens on it when someone stole it at the San Francisco Zoo and I lost a Canon 5D with a 135 f/2 L series lens on it at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas a few years back. It really sucks. Even more than losing the gear, there is a sense of personal violation and especially when photography and your equipment is such a big part of your life. I’ve always wondered why they can’t put some sort of GPS chip in a camera to help you locate it if it’s stolen. If they can do that with a $500 iPhone, why can’t they do it with a $3,000 DSLR? I know that’s a feature that I would certainly want to have.

On a personal level if I had to choose between getting my gear back when it’s stolen, or not getting it back but seeing the piece of crap that stole my stuff arrested for it, I’d chose the later. To me the violation is worse even than losing the gear.

So I was very disappointed to read over in DMU this morning that someone stole all my friend Shim’s photo gear yesterday. Shims is a hell of a nice guy and a great photographer and I’m really pissed that something so horrible has happened to him this way. I’m not sure on all the details on how or where Shim’s gear was stolen, he was very upset when he posted about it, but hopefully will be back with more details on the theft. In the meantime, if you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and hear about someone trying to unload any of the following on craigslist or elsewhere, get in touch with Shims. Best I can tell, this is what he lost yesterday:

D700 Camera Body
Nikon 24-70mm Lens f2.8
Nikon 20mm Lens f2.8
Nikon 50mm Lens f1.8
Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 Lens
Sandisc Extreme Memory cards

Update: Shims says that his gear was stolen from the Abri Hotel’s lobby mens room in San Francisco. He said it was a 20-something looking white guy who stole it. The serial number of his D700 camera body is 2071413. If somehow through Google Indexing this serial number shows up, please know that this camera was stolen and help Shims get his gear back and the person who stole it punished.

Update #2: Shims got his gear back! Amazing story. Read about it here.

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10 Comments

  1. judy says:

    I am so sorry. I had a camera that I lost onmy way to a holiday and I was careless left it in the bathroom returned and it was gone. It hurts.. I want Shims to find it through an honest person

  2. It’s a shame that there isn’t an auto tag to a photo’s EXIF, including the camera’s serial number. Yes, many industrious dirtbags would just strip that off the files, but most crooks wouldn’t know any better.

    It sure would be awesome to be able to tie a photo to a camera, to a thief.

  3. Phill says:

    I thought that serial numbers are in exif? Or is it a Canon thing? I definitely see it in Lightroom?

  4. Thomas Hawk says:

    Phill, interestingly enough a Google search for Shim’s camera’s serial number does pull up a link to one of his photos on Flickr where it is included in the metadata. I wasn’t aware that Flickr was recording serial numbers of users. Not sure why it only comes up for one photo. But it would be nice if there was a way that Shim’s serial number shows up in the future via a web search. I tried putting my own 5DM2 serial number into Google and nothing came up related to my camera.

    I hope somehow Shims gets it back.

  5. Bryan Campbell says:

    Having had my camera gear stolen last month, I know how he feels. Having full replacement value renters insurance is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Now I just need to get my new gear insured if I am ever robbed in public (away from my home or car). You can also get it covered for accidental damages.

    I didn’t think it could happen to me, and well… It did.

  6. JeffPHenderson says:

    Byran, Home owners insurance of cameras and other like items should cover the equipment if it is lost, stolen or destroyed, anywhere, not just in your home or from your car. You should verify that with your agent, but all of the HO insurance policies I have had over the years worked that way. One caveat is if you are a professional photographer, your HO insurance won’t insure your gear if you use it for work, but you can buy a separate policy for your gear, it will be a bit more expensive though. Many photography societies offer reasonably priced gear insurance for their members.

  7. Bob Towery says:

    Totally sucks! We need a self destruct sequence. When someone tries to update the firmware, or connects the camera to a PC connected to the internet BANG MO FO!

  8. mode says:

    Hope Shims find it soon!

  9. Burnt Umber says:

    I had my gear stolen last summer as well. It was grabbed out of the back seat of my car. I was more pissed about loosing the photos on the card than I was loosing the camera. It is probably still sitting in some damn Pawn Shop somewhere.

  10. Cindy Vigel says:

    I had my Canon EOS 50D stolen on a Carnival Cruise ship on the pool deck. Serial # 2146802980 – it was more valuable then the whole trip and just ruined the entire week’s vacation.