Stolen Gear

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Registered: Sep 23, 2004
Total Posts: 179
Country: United States


I've had TWO serious thefts at my Littleton, Colorado (80120) office in the past 6 weeks. Local police do not seem to be putting in any serious effort to locate the bad guys.

Please keep your eyes open. I'm offering a $1000 reward for information leading to the capture of the person that did this.

Incident #1

December 29th I discovered a Canon 1Ds MK-II (311643), Canon 85mm/1.8 (42700991) and a Canon 70-200 / 2.8 II (8658014136) missing from my camera room.

I don't shoot that often and they might have been taken any time between November 27th and the date I discovered them missing.

The 1Ds MK-II had the 85mm attached. Whats unique about this is that the shelf it was on also held five 1D bodies, a 1Ds, a 5D, a T1i and a Canon point & shoot. Only the body that had a lens attached was taken.

The lens shelf held another 85mm/1.8, two 50mm/1.8 and a 70-200 / 2.8 (older model). From that shelf only the 70-200/2.8 newer model was taken. It was taken out of the box and the box placed back on the shelf.

The next shelf - 1 inch to the right - holds video gear - including small GoPro cameras and a $3000 JVC HD system, plus boxes of mics and transmitters. None of which was taken.

Reported to Littleton Police Department and all locks and deadbolts changed that day.

Incident #2

Today we discovered a Canon 5D MK-III (072023802473), Canon BG-E11 Grip (0801019964) and a Sigma 85mm / 1.4 EX DG (13195873) missing.

All of these items are new - delivered between 12/28/12 and 01/02/13.

This gear was used at a Denver area location Sunday and returned to the office that evening. It was in a large Tamrac bag, with lens and grip mounted to the 5D MK-III. The bag also held a 1Ds body with Canon 85mm mounted, and smaller items - chargers, extra batteries, CF cards in cases, etc.

Monday was a snowboarding day. That evening the bag was opened and CF cards removed from both bodies to import to computer. The bag was left on the floor with both cameras inside.

Tuesday was also a snowboarding day. Wednesday I was in office but working on images and website stuff. Didn't visit the camera room. Thursday was spent running models to airport and making last run through the location (rented mansion) to pick up other gear (strobes, snowboarding gear we had rented, etc.).

Today, Friday the 18th, I started unpacking all the camera bags and lighting cases. The 5D MK-III, with grip and lens attached, was missing.

They / he left the bag, with the 1Ds / 85mm, and the bag next to it with the JVC HD Camcorder.

To get to the bags they walked past the packed gear shelves mentioned above.

No pry marks on doors. No broken windows. I'm in the Littleton Historic District, about 1/4 miles from Littleton Police Department. Its a second floor office of 2000 SQ FT.

Naturally I suspect somebody with a key - but the only other person outside of myself with a key was with me in Keystone or running the errands, almost always by my side between time camera last seen and today.

Tuesday evening I was running late on Photoshop work and website updates. I was at computer until 1:00am Wednesday and slept in the break room (next to camera room). Don't think it happened that night but again - I was not in the camera room between Monday evening and today.


I'm offering a $1000 reward for the capture of the person that did this.

Incident #1 is known as Report #2012-6954

Incident #2 is known as Report #2013-0312

If you have any information please call the Littleton, Colorado Police at 303-794-1551 and reference those report numbers.

You are also welcome to call me directly at 1-877-686-5393.


Registered: Feb 13, 2011
Total Posts: 198
Country: United States

Good luck to you, and bad Karma to the thief.

Registered: Sep 20, 2012
Total Posts: 310
Country: United States

That's not cool. Do you have insurance to cover? Don't expect the police to do much they have bigger fish to fry. Since its happened twice may be time to invest in a good safe or keep the expensive stuff somewhere else.

Registered: Nov 13, 2010
Total Posts: 1892
Country: United States

Alarm system, monitored.

Registered: May 20, 2010
Total Posts: 34
Country: United States

Sorry to hear that. Hopefully you'll get more information on this.
I live in the same town and I'll keep an eye on it on craigslist. Hope your gears are insured.

Paul Mo
Registered: Dec 12, 2012
Total Posts: 5989
Country: Thailand

Video surveilance, though you may not get hit again. Have one of these waiting in a dark corner.

Registered: Jun 17, 2004
Total Posts: 1041
Country: United States

I really do not understand how one can buy a stolen stuff with ID numbers on it

Registered: Feb 28, 2012
Total Posts: 94
Country: United States

Sorry to hear that. Keep an eye on Craigslist and eBay.

Jim Bau
Registered: Jan 13, 2007
Total Posts: 1666
Country: United States

Scumbag thieves!

Registered: Dec 30, 2003
Total Posts: 394
Country: United States

The thief was too specific picking out which gear to steal. The average thief would have taken it all. This thief took only the good stuff. He/she had a shopping of list of items to take. Lets say the first time he/she was in a hurry, they grabbed a few things. But they came back a second time and only took a specific camera and not the rest of the gear. Sounds fishy to me. When the police come out a second time and saw that the thief did not take all of your gear, they know it's an inside job.

Keys are made every day at Walmart, Lowes, and Home Depot.

JoJo S.
Registered: Feb 16, 2009
Total Posts: 195
Country: Japan

Def an inside job..

Paul Mo
Registered: Dec 12, 2012
Total Posts: 5989
Country: Thailand

Without getting in too deep to pop psychology; a 'friend' of someone you trust?

Registered: Jan 17, 2013
Total Posts: 160
Country: United States

I've recently had two bags of gear stolen from my apartment complex. Fortunately, I also had "Renters Insurance" (in the USA) and the insurance company covered most of the cost of the gear. I didn't realize that renters insurance could come in so handy like that, and it only costs me about $100 a year to cover my entire apartment. Your losses were far my substantial though.

Registered: Nov 18, 2002
Total Posts: 9376
Country: United States

Sorry about the loss.

Like my mamma used to say, "A lock only keeps an honest man honest...." and there are tutorials on the net on how to open a door lock in seconds with a "bump" key. So the perp wouldn't necessarily need to steal and copy your key to get access. Some interior doors can also be removed via the hinges by removing the pins.

I suspect kids because the perp cherry picked like toy shopping not with an intention to sell. A knowledgeable photographer would have taken more and teen trying to sell expensive gear in person locally would would raise a red flag other than to peers for drugs, and a teen/tween isn't likely to have an eBay / Paypal account to sell over the net. So some photographically clueless kid, likely a friend of yours, might have ripped it off and traded it to a peer for weed. Putting the empty lens box back is something only a kid or an employee planning to quit and move out of town would do.

Do you or your staff have tween / teen kids who have visited the studio? If so they probably showed off the Dad's fancy gear to the friends, some of who might be dodgy. This happened to a family member who got robbed by old local friends of a visiting grandson who had them over to the house. They knew where all the good stuff was hidden because the grandson showed it off.

In addition to watching Craig's and FleaBay check your kid's social media feeds to see if any of his friends have started posting photos with improved IQ lately.

Also install a combination deadbolt or hasp / combination look on the storage closet ASAP before someone reads your narrative of what didn't get stolen. It reads like a menu for what to steal next

Registered: Jan 28, 2005
Total Posts: 11353
Country: Canada

alvit wrote:
I really do not understand how one can buy a stolen stuff with ID numbers on it

.. or stolen stuff without ID numbers (IDs removed).

Anyway, these days, the serial number is in the firmware and can't be erased or changed.

When you buy a used camera, make sure the firmware serial number matches the external serial number. If they don't match, you might have to send the camera to Japan if it needs repairs.

Registered: Sep 23, 2004
Total Posts: 179
Country: United States

Paul Mo wrote:
Without getting in too deep to pop psychology; a 'friend' of someone you trust?

I have had that same feeling the last two days. The list of persons with access is tiny.

After the first incident the locks all changed / new keys.

Only three persons had a key full-time. Building owner, myself and a 4 year employee.

Two others had temp access on Monday and Tuesday by access to a key lockbox outside (like a reality company uses). That includes a 10 month full-time employee and a girl that has been part-time for 3 years.

Last person with access to the new keys would be the locksmith.

Thats six total since lock change on 01/02/13

Between lock change in July and December incident its the same people - minus the part time girl (so 5 total).

Registered: Sep 23, 2004
Total Posts: 179
Country: United States


I'm a single guy. I live right around the corner from the office - close enough to see the buildings from each other.

No teens around the office this week. Youngest person here is 24 (the 10 month employee).

This weeks gear was in an odd place - a Tamrac bag on the floor. (I'll post photo in a minute).

Security guys came last night and starting to install things today.

We dd check eBay and Craigslist after the first incident. Did notice a 70-200 at a low price (900), but couldn't get (1) the seller to reply or (2) the police to follow-up (low price near Christmas not suspicious).

Registered: Sep 23, 2004
Total Posts: 179
Country: United States

For those interested....

Incident 1 (December)... The cameras were taken from the top left shelf in this photo.

The arrangement was slightly different... bodies to right of shelf and lens to left. At the time the box for the newer 70-200 (see it above bodies) was on shelf where you see the older 70-200 sitting now. There was also a couple of more bodies there at the time (some now out for service / check-ups).

The more recent incident (number 2) was in same room, but further from the door. I came back to office Sunday evening with two bags. The black one held 2 Canon bodies and the blue was the JVC camcorder. I dropped both bags in that room, checked email, went home. Monday evening I kneeled by the bags and took memory cards from all three units and imported the images to computers. I left the bodies inside the bags and the bags on the floor just as you see them in this photo.

Thursday about 1:00pm a Photoflex lighting case ( ) was dropped in the room near those two bags.

Friday (after my out of town guests left) I started putting things away. As I got the the black bag (last of the three to be emptied) I discovered the 5D MK-III was missing and called the police.

Micky Bill
Registered: Nov 25, 2006
Total Posts: 2707
Country: N/A

Well, I am not a cop but to me it seems like an "inside job" as they knew what to take and where to get it. Take a good look at the friends and relatives of your friends.
If the perps were a couple of meth heads they might not have been so selective.

Registered: Aug 07, 2012
Total Posts: 473
Country: United States

I too suspect inside job. You should install a hidden camera and catch the culprit next time he or she tries to grab something.

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