Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Stolen camera - a cautionary tale

Well, I had my 40D stolen this weekend (along with a 50 mm lens & a 16 gb card). I’m always very careful with my camera equipment (or so I thought), so I thought I’d tell my story as an example of how quickly it can happen.
I was tailgating at an Eagles game in Philadelphia with a large group of friends. My vehicle was parked right in the central tailgating area, in fact it was so close, several of us were sitting on my hood at times during the tailgate. Throughout the tailgate I’d bring the camera out and take a few pictures and when I was done I’d store it on the rear floor of my vehicle tucked under the seat. The Saturn has tinted back windows, so even if you put your face against the glass and looked through you’d still have a hard time seeing a camera on the floor, under the seat. I didn’t think to lock the doors, after all it was tailgate, we were in and out of the vehicle several times getting supplies, plus I was right near the vehicle at all times.
As it got closer to game time I locked up the car and headed inside the stadium. I didn’t check for the camera because I wasn’t going to bring it into the stadium anyway for concern it could get damaged. I assumed it was still tucked under the backseat.

When I got home that evening & unpacked, I noticed that the camera was nowhere to be found. Sometime between when I took my last batch of tailgate photos and game time, someone must have seen where I was putting the camera & grabbed it when I wasn’t looking. It would have had to be a fast grab, nothing else was moved or misplaced, and several other valuable items were still in place (iPod, cell phone, etc).

Needless to say, it is very disappointing. Not only are the camera and lens valuable, it also had a memory card full of pics from our weekend in Philly. If there’s a less on to be learned, it’s that camera theft can happen very quickly, take extra precaution to protect your gear. Another lesson learned is that there are a small percentage of jerks at every event. An Eagles game is like a huge celebration with fellow fans, there’s a great feeling of community in the lot…so to steal from a fellow fan is just lower than low.

…oh, and if anyone knows of any scumbags who were at the Eagles game this past weekend who are now sporting a new 40D camera, please let me know.



mindy said...

oh Bill that just sucks. I am so angry for you...prob. doesnt help any though, does it? ha.

Was that your primary shooting camera?

Merlavage Images said...

Hi Mindy, yep, it's my main camera.
I still have my back-up camera, so I'm not totally out of commission, but I need to replace the stolen one soon. I have a few events coming up in the next couple weeks that require the use of two cameras.

Anonymous said...

No question about it, stolen photo gear sucks. After I once got all my gear ripped off, I quit buying used gear on the internet since that is where a lot of stolen goods end up.
FYI My brother's son had a bunch of things taken from his car some months ago, nothing was broken into, no sign of a forced entry. The police told him that the crooks are now using "universal" remote entry keys to enter any car they can open. They can even lock up after they finish so that on one suspect anything until they go to look for something.
Keep shooting.

George from SmugMug