Stolen Gear
/forum/topic/1183151/1

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JimmyStephans
Registered: Sep 23, 2004
Total Posts: 137
Country: United States

Micky,

Agreed. the two male employees and the locksmith are the only real suspects. I expect to have more news this coming week. I want polygraph. Lawyer is not sure I can force employees to take one under Colorado law. I only got a few minutes with him Friday but first thing Monday morning he'll be here and we'll decide what I can and can't do.

All I know for sure is that as of 01/04/13 there are only 6 people with key access (assuming locksmith made a copy) so the list is short.

It was clearly done by somebody with a key and somebody that was comfortable being in that room more than a few seconds to open boxes, select certain items, etc. Just like somebody that knew I wouldn't be around that date / time.





bigfredtn
Registered: Dec 30, 2003
Total Posts: 378
Country: United States

Is that room on the main level? Could someone walk by your office and look into that room? That room is not secure enough for me especially when your gear is in plain view.



mikeinctown
Registered: Jul 20, 2012
Total Posts: 167
Country: United States

It was someone you work with. (not the models or locksmith) If they would have broken into the room and taken stuff, they would have taken the entire bag. It was stolen when you first placed the bag back in the room, and I'd be willing to bet it is the person who had access that day AND who knows camera equipment. They know your workflow and probably knew that you wouldn't open the bag for several days, if not longer. They knew what to grab for max profit and or usability.

Honestly, I suspect the 24 year old.

Start contacting ALL local pawn shops and watch Craigslist. Open a new e-mail under a fake account so you can inquire about for sale stuff you might come across. Don't ask for pics of serial numbers, but ask for detailed pics of all sides of a camera/lenses. Use those to check serial numbers.



JimmyStephans
Registered: Sep 23, 2004
Total Posts: 137
Country: United States

bigfredtn wrote:
Is that room on the main level? Could someone walk by your office and look into that room? That room is not secure enough for me especially when your gear is in plain view.


I'm on second floor.

No, people can't walk by and see into that room.

The window shown in 2nd photo is about 18 feet above a parking lot. I guess persons in the office building next door could look in with binoculars from their second floor.

The room is up a hall from reception area. That door is across hall from my office. The door to the room is wooden, but all the doors going into building are metal with metal frames, two locks on each.

I could lock that door - but if it they can get past the thicker metal doors and locks I guess this wooden door wouldn't be much.



JimmyStephans
Registered: Sep 23, 2004
Total Posts: 137
Country: United States

mikeinctown wrote:
It was someone you work with. (not the models or locksmith) If they would have broken into the room and taken stuff, they would have taken the entire bag. It was stolen when you first placed the bag back in the room, and I'd be willing to bet it is the person who had access that day AND who knows camera equipment. They know your workflow and probably knew that you wouldn't open the bag for several days, if not longer. They knew what to grab for max profit and or usability.

Honestly, I suspect the 24 year old.

Start contacting ALL local pawn shops and watch Craigslist. Open a new e-mail under a fake account so you can inquire about for sale stuff you might come across. Don't ask for pics of serial numbers, but ask for detailed pics of all sides of a camera/lenses. Use those to check serial numbers.


Very much along the lines of my own thinking. The 5D was in the bag 24 hours after being placed on the floor. Next time I touched the bag - Friday about 9:00am - it was gone.

Littleton Police Department secretary called to confirm serial numbers and said they have a system to check pawn shops.

The strange thing is that neither of the two guys with key access this week are really photography guys. The 24 year old is partially blind. His job is copyright related - both filing and tracking down violators. He sits at a 24" LCD but has to keep the resolution at something like 1440 x 900 to see the text. The married 29 year old does basic video editing on a MAC but never talks about still photos - and not up to date on how often the 5D MK-II and MK-III are used for HD video.

One of them may have done it for dollars but I don't think they would with the intent of using the gear.



skibum5
Registered: Jan 21, 2005
Total Posts: 16032
Country: United States

sorry to hear that

maybe you can tell everyone you have to be away so and so day or evening and apologize for having to be out of town or something and then sit in the dark room waiting (assuming they are not likely to be armed or black belts or something)

or the hidden spy video cam thing making sure no employees know about it and it's hidden away well

I wonder if they'd risk a third go though.

Wonder if they read FM.

The fact they were specific also might mean they took something for themselves to use and keep



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

duplicate deleted



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

Does the latch on the door lock which goes into the striker plate on the jamb have a second smaller retractable plunger on the back flat side? That second plunger, used on exterior door knobs, keeps the latch from retracting when the door is closed.

Latches without that second locking pin can be opened by sliding a thin and flexible strip of metal or plastic in around the door trim to push the latch in and open the door without leaving any marks.

Most interior door locks don't have that second locking pin and from the looks of the striker plate on the door jamb in your photo I suspect yours might not have one.





JimmyStephans
Registered: Sep 23, 2004
Total Posts: 137
Country: United States

I'll take a picture. The door in the photo above is wooden office door going from hallway into that office (I call camera room). Thats not the one with locks to get in building.

It can be locked but its not much more than a bedroom door would be at home. Before they get to it they have to get in the building - metal doors, deadbolts, etc.



JimmyStephans
Registered: Sep 23, 2004
Total Posts: 137
Country: United States

Photo....

All three doors coming from outside are the same. Metal, metal frame, handle lock and deadbolt.





Pamir
Registered: Oct 25, 2012
Total Posts: 14
Country: United States

My suggestion would be either to go forcefully after the people you suspect having done this one way or another or try to downplay these incidents and set the thief up for another try while you install multiple hidden cameras. Maybe you can set-up a camera where you live if you have a direct view. Perhaps you can consult with experts about it. Good luck.



gschlact
Registered: Jun 04, 2011
Total Posts: 792
Country: United States

Good luck in your pursuits.
I have had an experience where my local police were able to extract a confession from our employee. Maybe your police are willing to have serious talks with all your employees and begin the process and see where it leads.

Does the landlord have any security camera in parking lot or entryway you could review?



Gochugogi
Registered: Jun 25, 2003
Total Posts: 9561
Country: United States

gschlact wrote:
Good luck in your pursuits.
I have had an experience where my local police were able to extract a confession from our employee. Maybe your police are willing to have serious talks with all your employees and begin the process and see where it leads.

Does the landlord have any security camera in parking lot or entryway you could review?



Pretty sure the innocent employees will be looking for new jobs if that happens. I worked for Yamaha years ago and they had us questioned about a theft and even asked for lie detector tests. Most of us were loyal to the bone but the breach of trust killed morale and created extreme stress. Most of us quit and went to work for their competition. I think a better plan is to secure the offices better and implant hidden cameras and a real alarm system...



Ralph Conway
Registered: Jul 31, 2008
Total Posts: 3831
Country: Germany

Hell! Horrible situation. I feel with you. And wish you a good ending (at least financially). Stories like this never really end well. Whom we can trust if not our inner circel?

Ralph



Scottgoh
Registered: Aug 22, 2011
Total Posts: 32
Country: Australia

might setup a CCTV and trap the BAST****



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

The photo of the door is the exterior one? On the door knob latch you can see the second locking pin I mentioned previously. If the storeroom door knob latch doesn't have that locking pin it could be bypassed by anyone with a old credit card in 5 sec. without leaving a mark.

That would widen the possibilities beyond the "key" suspects and eliminate the locksmith as a one. They don't stay in business long if they do B&E on the side.



Ian.Dobinson
Registered: Feb 18, 2007
Total Posts: 11573
Country: United Kingdom

a couple of things:

On the gear thats already been lost. have you registered the Body serial numbers with the service that searches the internet for posted images with that number in the exif? i know its easy to remove the exif info but people will always forget. especially if the gear has been sold on and the new owner does not know the history.

On the security and the theft.
Yes get CCTV installed. and if you can have it installed in such a way that no one else knows its been done all the better. that way if it is an insider they may be tempted to have another bite of the cherry.
But I will also say that unless you have real hard suspicions towards one of the staff I would not want to go down the hard questioning / polygraph route. i kow it should be a case of the innocent have nothing to fear but having been in the situation where a boss has accused (a long time ago) me (falsely) of something , I can say that from that point on there is a lack of trust and respect that is unlikely to ever be regained. I guess it comes down to how much value you put on staff relationships.



firstgear99
Registered: Nov 03, 2012
Total Posts: 344
Country: United States

JimmyStephans wrote:
mikeinctown wrote:
It was someone you work with. (not the models or locksmith) If they would have broken into the room and taken stuff, they would have taken the entire bag. It was stolen when you first placed the bag back in the room, and I'd be willing to bet it is the person who had access that day AND who knows camera equipment. They know your workflow and probably knew that you wouldn't open the bag for several days, if not longer. They knew what to grab for max profit and or usability.

Honestly, I suspect the 24 year old.

Start contacting ALL local pawn shops and watch Craigslist. Open a new e-mail under a fake account so you can inquire about for sale stuff you might come across. Don't ask for pics of serial numbers, but ask for detailed pics of all sides of a camera/lenses. Use those to check serial numbers.


Very much along the lines of my own thinking. The 5D was in the bag 24 hours after being placed on the floor. Next time I touched the bag - Friday about 9:00am - it was gone.

Littleton Police Department secretary called to confirm serial numbers and said they have a system to check pawn shops.

The strange thing is that neither of the two guys with key access this week are really photography guys. The 24 year old is partially blind. His job is copyright related - both filing and tracking down violators. He sits at a 24" LCD but has to keep the resolution at something like 1440 x 900 to see the text. The married 29 year old does basic video editing on a MAC but never talks about still photos - and not up to date on how often the 5D MK-II and MK-III are used for HD video.

One of them may have done it for dollars but I don't think they would with the intent of using the gear.

A friend of an employee? Did they ever bring a friend in?



JimmyStephans
Registered: Sep 23, 2004
Total Posts: 137
Country: United States

gschlact wrote:
Good luck in your pursuits.
I have had an experience where my local police were able to extract a confession from our employee. Maybe your police are willing to have serious talks with all your employees and begin the process and see where it leads.

Does the landlord have any security camera in parking lot or entryway you could review?



The local police did not take much interest in late December (incident 1) and I am not sure they will now. They take report (patrol officer) and next day call to confirm serial numbers.

My long time lawyer and his associate suggest hiring a private detective and also asking the employees to take a polygraph. Meeting with them Monday to see how that option works into employment law. Pretty sure if an employee refuses - I can't fire him.

No security cameras in building or parking area. Small building. Owner has office on ground floor. He is an accident reconstruction engineer. His lead helper is wife of police lieutenant. Rest of ground floor is office shared by 2 insurance ladies. I have entire top (2nd) floor - after combining two units into one. It had been three units before I arrived in 2008, then 11 & 12 combined while I was in #10. Then I took it all over in 2011.

I had a security camera system order placed and they came by and took measurements. They expect to be back Tuesday to install... just my unit, not parking lot.



JimmyStephans
Registered: Sep 23, 2004
Total Posts: 137
Country: United States

That moral thing is the killer isn't it... But truth is that I haven't slept much the last 2 evenings myself... knowing that odds are it is one of my employees that has been here a while.

The better security deal is tough. This person most likely had a key.

I travel a ton - often for 3-4 weeks at a time. I have to leave a key (and soon an alarm code) with somebody or no work is done while I'm gone.

Great security, alarms, triple deadbolts - none of that would help stop the person if he has key / alarm codes. Heck, anybody with that access could even disable cameras (unless hidden and unknown to anybody but me).



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