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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Stolen in Columbus Ohio on August 17, 2012, at 2:30 EST.
Greg Bartram, Photographer
Dublin | OH | | Posted: 11:43 AM on 08.18.12
->> My car was broken into, and I lost everything.

EOS-1D Mark IV Body 2421400034
EOS-1D Mark IV Body 0720600794
Canon EOS 1D mk IIn 406064
Sekonic 558R light meter JD1F-101705
EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM 3961976
Speedlite 600EX-RT 0402116389
Speedlite 600EX-RT 0301109152
Speedlite 600EX-RT 0201106881
Speedlite 580 EX II 604689
Canon 14mm 2.8L 15419
Canon 24-70mm 2.8L 2121413
Canon 28-300 3.5-5.6L 59706
Canon 15mm 2.8 23439
Canon ST-E2 ONO305
Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT 0401000043
EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM 24278
ThinkTank Shape Shifter Camera Bag (CPS Edition)
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM 170319
ThinkTank Glass Taxi (CPS edition)
Think Tank Speed Changer 2.0
Pocket Wizard Plus II (2 units)
Pocket Wizard Plus (receiver-transmitter, 2 sets)
CM-N3-P Remote Cable Motor Cord, Canon 3-Pin to Miniphone - 3'
Canon Remote Timer TC-80 N3
Lowe Pro Quick Flex Pouch 75 AW (2 units)
Lowe Pro S&F Lens Exchange 200AW case (2 units)
Lowe Pro Small Lens Case 9x9
Optech Pro Loop strap (3 units)
Canon Hand Strap E2 (2 units)
Canon LP-E4 Lithium Ion battery (2 units)
Canon NP-E3 NiMH battery
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Greg Bartram, Photographer
Dublin | OH | | Posted: 11:46 AM on 08.18.12
->> Everything is insured for replacement, although I'm a bit worried that, with some of the price jumps on newer models of the same stuff,(like the 400 2.8 price jump. or the jump from the Mk IV to the 1DX)I may get a hassle from the insurance folks.

Anyway, I wanted to get this stuff posted.
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James Broome, Photographer
Tampa | FL | US | Posted: 12:28 PM on 08.18.12
->> Damn. I hope this ends better than you fear.
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Kevin M. Cox, Photographer
Galveston & Houston | TX | US | Posted: 1:08 PM on 08.18.12
->> Sorry to hear this Greg, but it provides a needed reminder for photogs whose insurance is based on a "replacement value" to check their coverage.

Many of us probably need to increase our listed values to cover the increased cost of new models.
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Phil Hawkins, Photographer
Fresno | ca | usa | Posted: 5:20 PM on 08.18.12
->> My policy with TCP Insurance stipulates that if, say, my 1D MKII is stolen, and that model is no longer in production, the insurance company will replace it with the current model which is the 1Dx.

Not all policies are created equal, so shop around and be sure of what you have. Not knowing about the replacement policy of your insurance company is not a good thing. KNOW what your insurance company will do if your stuff is stolen; find it in writing, never be in doubt about this.

The keywords to look for are "replacement value" vs "fair market value". They are obviously two different things. You HAVE to know which of these your company does.

"Replacement Value" on a 1D MKII is $6,800 (1Dx price)
"Fair Market Value" on a 1D MKII is $750. (approximate current value)

Big difference.
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Kevin M. Cox, Photographer
Galveston & Houston | TX | US | Posted: 5:36 PM on 08.18.12
->> Phil, just because you see "replacement value" in a policy doesn't mean you are automatically covered for that new camera model.

For example the Hays/Travelers Insurance program through NPPA requires photographers to specify the "replacement value" for each piece of gear. The premium is based on this amount and it is all you get if that equipment is stolen.

Policies like this require photogs to be diligent as new models come out and prices change to make sure they update their list if they want the higher coverage.
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Randy Sartin, Photographer, Assistant
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 11:00 PM on 08.18.12
->> Being able to name your own replacement value (within reason) is so important it's not even funny.

Professional photographers need to learn what this means right after f stops, focal length, and ISO. Because as soon as you learn that, you start buying gear, and it starts losing value...and becoming obsolete.

I learned it from this site, and it saved my business about 6 months ago.
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Randy Sartin, Photographer, Assistant
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 11:02 PM on 08.18.12
->> And sorry for your loss Greg, regardless of insurance it's a total Pain In The A*$.
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Eric Isaacs, Photographer, Assistant
Santa Barbara | CA | USA | Posted: 9:52 AM on 08.19.12
->> Sorry to hear about yet another theft. I experienced the same recently. Phil and everyone else, definitely a good idea to update your listed replacement values. I'm with Tom Pickard and discovered they will cover "up to" the listed value. If you insure your rebel for $23,000 they will cover it for the reasonable replacement amount. If you list it at $75 you are out of luck when replacement cost is $800. They do offer a $3000 umbrella to cover overages but that can disappear quickly when, for example, the old 24-70 was around $1300 but the new one is nearly twice that.

I kinda got burned, updating values can avoid this. Also, be sure to itemize your laptop software, that was another are I got burned.

Good luck, Greg.
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Greg Bartram, Photographer
Dublin | OH | | Posted: 10:58 AM on 08.19.12
->> I was in the camera stores making the rounds with my lists yesterday, and the guys in one of the stores were telling me that I was the FIFTH guy they'd heard of in two days with a camera theft.

Mind you, I managed to lose the most. I strive to win at all things.
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Marvin Gentry, Photographer
Birmingham | AL | USA | Posted: 11:13 AM on 08.19.12
->> Hey Greg, Sorry for your loss its almost like losing a family member when its that much. What kind of vehicle was it in? not that it matters. But when I got my SUV 2 years ago I put a wooded shelf in back so everything would be out of site, but that still didnt ease my mind so I went to a local tool store and bought and locking steel tool box that slides in the back I also connected the shelf to it and also put a cable through it and locked it to the rear seats. I know that if they want it they will get into it but they gonna work for it.
We all know that most of this equipment it going to show up on ebay or craigslist. I wonder why someone hasn't pursued criminal charges against the company for allowing people to sell stolen equipment. It looks like they could at least require that the seller take a photo of the serial number and with todays technology a program could decipher the numbers and they could automatically be run through the National crime data base. With out them putting some kind of effort into try to deter stolen items on there site. It looks like a gun ho district attorney would charge them with selling stolen items. I know it would be far fetched but they still would have to defend there actions .

GOOD Luck on the return of your equipment and hope everything works out with the insurance.
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Dave Prelosky, Photographer
Lower Burrell | Pa | US | Posted: 12:54 PM on 08.19.12
->> Greg, Marvin, there is indeed a search program that crawls around looking for stolen gear:


http://www.stolencamerafinder.com/

I haven't used it, have no interest in the company and can't offer any testimony as to its effectiveness, but the potential seems to be there...
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Greg Bartram, Photographer
Dublin | OH | | Posted: 1:35 PM on 08.19.12
->> Dave, I gave them a testrun, and it did indeed pull up a couple of images of mine in different places, so that seems to work well. I'll dig in more in the next few days and see what happens.

Honestly, feeling secure that everything will be covered as it should be by the insurance, the thing that bothers me the most is the loss of my oldest flash, a 580 EX II. I had a sticker on it that was put on by a little guy living in an orphanage in Haiti when I was there after the earthquake.

He'd been given a box of fun kid stuff by a faith-based relief group, and it had these stickers in it. He pulled one out pointed to the top of the flash, and said "For you?"

That selfless act by a little fella who didn't have much at all...welll, that was a pretty cool thing indeed.
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 3:38 PM on 08.19.12
->> "the guys in one of the stores were telling me that I was the FIFTH guy they'd heard of in two days with a camera theft"....if you live in the Colunbus area, please be moew vigilant with your gear. And take your address off of the web. Sounds like pro outfit of thieves targetting pro shooters.
Someone should make a tracking device that fits in a dummy camera or flash that can be tracked with a GPS. Wonder how much that costs?
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Erik Schelkun, Photographer, Photo Editor
Tipp City | OH | USA | Posted: 7:09 PM on 08.19.12
->> Greg
So sorry to read about this. I hope that you get your gear replaced quickly enough that you do not lose out on any work! This will certainly be on my mind in the next few months when I come over to work in Columbus. What part of town where you in?

Erik
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Greg Bartram, Photographer
Dublin | OH | | Posted: 7:39 PM on 08.19.12
->> The car was parked in a parking lot of a restaurant on the northwest side.
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Scott Serio, Photo Editor, Photographer
Colora | MD | USA | Posted: 1:38 PM on 08.20.12
->> Was your car broken into or stolen? That is a ton of stuff. I mean, just a solo larceny from auto guy could never carry away that much stuff. That is a HUGE hit. The local PD really should have information to go with this because a hit that big wil usually hook up with big thefts in the area. That has to be a team with a vehicle. Just saying...
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Greg Bartram, Photographer
Dublin | OH | | Posted: 4:32 PM on 08.20.12
->> Actually, Scott, I carried it all the time.

The Shape Shifter had two bodies, 14, 15, 16-35, 24-70, the two Canon transmitters, two flashes, and the Pocket Wizards inside. Attached to the strap on one side were velcroed the two other flashes in the Flex Pouch 75s, and the 70-200 was in the S&F Lens Exchange velcroed to the other strap. The Glass Taxi had the 400 and the Mk IIn. I'd wear those strapped on in back and in front, and still have both hands free. That left only the 28-300 and the other Lens Exchange case that needed to be carried in one hand if needed.

Not that I don't think you're right about multiple breaker-inners, but it was all a lot more portable than the list looks.
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Ted Aguirre, Photographer
Covina | CA | | Posted: 6:04 PM on 08.20.12
->> Greg, I can only imagine how frustrating this could be. But can you please share with us how your equipment was stored in your car. I am sure many of us might do the same thing and hopefully we can learn to be better. Was everything stored in your trunk? Was any equipment or camera bags visible from the windows or outside the car? Did you have an alarm? Was your car parked in an isolated part of the parking lot? Covered parking lots are detorious for thefts as opposed to open parking with lots of pedestrian traffic.
Where did you last load all your equipment-your home or at the end of the job-curious if someone was watching and following you till the right opportunity came when you left your car unattended. My head is always on a swivel when I am loading/unloading my equipment and looking out for people in cars or standing around. I have a habit of looking for cars following me when I leave a location after loading up. In addition, if I know I am going to leave equipment in my car for a period of time, I always take security cable/locks and tie up my case(s) to a metal beam inside my truck. I truely, hope everything goes smoothly in getting your equipment replaced.
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Greg Bartram, Photographer
Dublin | OH | | Posted: 7:43 AM on 08.21.12
->> Sure, Ted.

I drive a 2004 Explorer. The cargo area has a canvas pullover that covers teh area, and the all windows are privacy-tinted except the front doors and (obviously) the windshield.

Everything was in the cases under that cover, but were not secured beyond that.

I parked in the farthest-back parking space next to the dumpster, and I think that's what doomed me. Like I posted above, I never park between vehicles that are taller than mine so that the I'm more visible.

In this particular case, though, I parked in the shade so my car would be cooler when my son and I came out after lunch. Basically, I guess, the lesson is never to put your kids before your gear....

Trying to keep the humor...
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Randy Sartin, Photographer, Assistant
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 8:30 AM on 08.21.12
->> All of this is great information!

I want to mention that when my stuff (TT Airport Security PACKED with about everything I own) was stolen it was simply wheeled out from underneath my work area (where they left my laptop on the table) in what was supposed to be a secured media center at a Division 1 school.

Other than the obvious lesson I learned, anyone have any hints securing their gear on site?
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 8:46 AM on 08.21.12
->> Randy - I use the cable lock on my Airport Addicted and lock it to the table, and lock all the zippers. Not fool proof, but not it might deter those wanting to just wheel one away.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Atlanta | Ga | USA | Posted: 9:02 AM on 08.21.12
->> When I go to a shoot, I take from home only the things I need to do the job and most of the time, I can carry it in my bag. And when I get there and I have to go to one area or another, I take it with me. I realize that's impossible for some folks to do, but it's the only answer I have for myself because I cannot afford to allow some thief to steal my things.

I think the only reasonable solution is to do everything you can to discourage theft -- and to have your gear insured.
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Greg Bartram, Photographer
Dublin | OH | | Posted: 9:45 AM on 08.21.12
->> Here's a turn for the decidely worse.

My coverage is NOT what I was told it was when it was written. It is NOT cash replacement value in spite of my repeated assurances that it WAS written that way. It is in fact written for replacement value minus depreciation, and it has a cap that I was unaware of.
respect and admiration.

If they don't, it'll be a somewhat different commentary.


My adjuster is meeting with underwriters after interviewing my current agent in order to see if corrections can be made on their end, but the net result may be that I am dramatically less equipped than I was.

I asked all the questions of my agent, and received the assurances that I was insured precisely as I believed I was. Unfortunately, he was wrong. I thought I'd done everything I needed to in order to be covered, but I didn't. I suppose I should've confirmed witht he main underwriters of the Inland Marine policy.

I'll share the name of my insurer once I see where this is going. If they do the right thing and cover me as I had been told I was covered, then I'll share their name respectfully and gratefully. If they do not, then I'll share with a somewhat different commentary.

Call your insurance folks today, and be sure your coverage is what you believe it to be.
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Pat Lovell, Photographer
Bloomington | IN | US | Posted: 9:56 AM on 08.21.12
->> Greg, sorry to hear about the theft. I had about 13k worth of gear stolen back in February. I also learned a few lessons.

The biggest is what you just posted, my insurance was replacement cost, plus depreciation and a deductible. I received a check from the insurance for just over 10k.

I am glad I had insurance but, that 3k hurt a bit. I've met with my agent many time since Feb. and we have yet to find a provider that pays full replacement cost.

We've come up with a spreadsheet that calculates depreciation and I always know what the policy will cover. It has forced me to keep my gear updated and some cash reserve for protection.

If anyone knows a good insurance company that covers full replacement value without depreciation, I would love to know. (I'm in Indiana)

Good luck with your replacement, I hope it goes smoothly for you.
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Randy Sartin, Photographer, Assistant
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 10:14 AM on 08.21.12
->> There's some good info here...

http://packagechoice.com/index.jsp#htwms

Here's an excerpt...

"Covering your valuable cameras, lenses, flashes, stands, and other related gear often composes the bulk of your insurance policy costs. Many insurance agents will place you under an Inland Marine policy, requiring that you list each item separately. An Inland Marine policy or Camera Floater is the standard way of insuring equipment, but does contain some inherent pitfalls. Unscheduled equipment (not shown on your list submitted to the insurance company) is often not covered. Inland Marine policies do not cover your studio equipment or other business property unless it is specifically scheduled.

Package Choice introduces a way of insuring your cameras that avoids some of the shortcomings of an Inland Marine Policy. The photographer need not submit a list of equipment to the insurance company. Instead, you determine a blanket limit of coverage by totaling the replacement cost of all your cameras, equipment and other Business Personal Property."
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Greg Bartram, Photographer
Dublin | OH | | Posted: 12:59 PM on 08.21.12
->> ...and, suddenly, things got better. Actually better, not sarcastically better.

When they interviewed my agent for the dispute, he pointed them to additional coverage that they hadn't originally seen...and it's replacement coverage.

Not only is there an edditional $10K in the pot now, but that strengthens my position that the inland marine policy should've been written as replacement coverage.

Should I submit this as a script for a soap opera yet?
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Greg Bartram, Photographer
Dublin | OH | | Posted: 4:15 PM on 08.22.12
->> Very special thanks to Jody at Roberts Distributing, Sonnie and Adam at Midwest Photo Exchange and Gary at World of Used Photography. Once UPS arrives tomorrow, I'll be able to work again.

Thanks, fellas, and I hope I wasn't too pain-in-the-assey.
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Eric Isaacs, Photographer, Assistant
Santa Barbara | CA | USA | Posted: 9:37 PM on 08.22.12
->> Pat Lovell:

I recently suffered a loss and am insured with Tom Pickard and Co. (
http://www.tcpinsurance.com )

As I mentioned above, they offer replacement value (no depreciation) based on two factors. First is your listed value, second is reasonable replacement value. For example, you can't claim your P&S is worth $70,000 and then collect on it when it drops out of your shirt pocket.

While I actually had to jump through a lot of hoops to complete my claim, TCP was very helpful and they no longer are writing policies through Fireman's Fund. They have a new underwriter with some apparent improvements though I have not read through the new policy in depth yet.

Pricing seems very reasonable to me.

It's worth repeating that everyone with insurance (which should be everyone here) needs to update their listed values and itemize the software on your laptop. I was under the impression (as was the agent) that they paid a standard payout for laptops but since I hadn't listed software they gave me around $2200 less than I was expecting for my laptop.

I also received less than replacement value for my 300 and 24-70 because I hadn't updated my list to the increased prices.
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Kevin M. Cox, Photographer
Galveston & Houston | TX | US | Posted: 10:44 PM on 08.22.12
->> Eric, I'm curious why you'd need to insure the software? Is this because all the original install media was stolen/destroyed as well?

I can't think of any software I have that I couldn't just re-download to install on the new computer and pull the original serial number out of my email from when I purchased it. Sorry if I'm missing something obvious.
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Michael Chang, Photographer
Robertsdale | AL | USA | Posted: 10:09 AM on 08.23.12
->> I'm with Kevin. Unless I'm wrong. I went on apple's website and configured a comparable laptop (hardware). I have all the information from Adobe (lightroom/photoshop), Photo Mechanic, etc and can just redownload the software and get the keys from the emails.
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Ron Manfredi, Photographer
Merrick (Long Island) | NY | | Posted: 12:56 PM on 08.23.12
->> I am not sure , but if Adobe limits the use of its product to two computers, and the copy on the one stolen is still "active" wouldn't that mean that the key would only be good for one more activation? This would be a problem if the software was already running on the (stolen) laptop and on a home desktop machine.
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Ron Scheffler, Photographer
Hamilton (Toronto area) | Ontario | Canada | Posted: 1:35 PM on 08.23.12
->> Good question about the software and Greg, glad to read you're back in business.

A couple points I want to mention:

The coverage I have (up here in Canada), and I need to re-read the policy, was that the deductible would multiply considerably if equipment was stolen from a vehicle. This has been a pretty good incentive to almost never leave the highly portable and highly valuable portions of my kit in the car unattended. I'll bring them in with me to the restaurant, while shopping, etc... but the 90lb lighting case will stay. :)

An additional value provided by proper business insurance, and this should be considered by anyone who is self employed, is liability coverage. While it's great to have the gear covered, it would be multiple times more devastating to be sued for $1M due to damage to someone else's property or person. But my understanding of liability coverage is that you still need to be responsible. If your set up was unsafe to begin with, you might not be covered....
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Eric Isaacs, Photographer, Assistant
Santa Barbara | CA | USA | Posted: 8:57 PM on 08.23.12
->> Kevin and all, I don't know why they pay out on software. I was told by the agent that the laptop is covered for a standard amount of $5000. I understood that to mean that if the laptop is stolen, broken or lost it would result in a check for $5000 minus the $500 deductible.

Some of the software on that computer was over 6 years old and I don't have the media nor the serial numbers. Some of it was upgraded and I only had the upgrade serials.

Apparently if I had itemized the software I would have received the full value which would have covered some of the other deficits where I hadn't updated my replacement costs.

My aptitude for understanding legalese is somewhat limited but that was how I interpreted the policy based both on what the agent told me and what I read.

There were a number of other issues I had to sort out which took weeks. One example was my pocket wizards being evaluated as PW sync cables at $13 each instead of $140 each for the actual units. There were other errors that took a fair bit of digging to uncover. They presented a settlement amount and I then requested an itemized evaluation list as it seemed low.

Fireman's Fund was recently acquired by Alianz and has undergone some restructuring. This may be why Tom Pickard has switched to Great American Insurance Group as their underwriter.
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Konstandinos Goumenidis, Photographer
Tracy | CA | USA | Posted: 8:58 PM on 08.23.12
->> ah man that is terrible news regardless. people always look at me like im crazy when I look over my gear like a hawk but people dont care...they will find a way to steal stuff...

on a side note...who do you use for insurance. getting back into the market so going to shop around
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Victor Biro, Photographer
Toronto | ON | Canada | Posted: 9:16 PM on 08.24.12
->> This may, initially seem off topic, but I think this is a great example of the importance of having a solid liability component to your insurance policy:

Bride dies after current drags her into waterfall
http://www.news.com.au/world/bride-dies-after-current-drags-her-into-waterf...
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Walt Middleton, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 1:20 AM on 08.25.12
->> Glad to hear it's working out... As always you ever need anything feel free to drop me a line.
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Greg Bartram, Photographer
Dublin | OH | | Posted: 11:04 PM on 09.09.12
->> So here's some good news...I got a text yesterday as I was shooting the Ohio State-UCF game. Someone was trying to sell one of my cameras and lenses at a camera store here in town. The shop owner alled the police and my wife, in that order.

Two folks arrested, and I've got a Mark IV and 16-35 back in my posession.

Actually, they belong to the insurance company now, but score one for the good guys.
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Brian Davidson, Photographer
Independence | Mo | USA | Posted: 12:14 AM on 09.10.12
->> The people that they arrested, do they have your other stuff too?
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Walt Middleton, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 2:04 PM on 09.10.12
->> Good news...
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Margaret Bowles, Photographer
Tampa | FL | | Posted: 3:38 PM on 09.10.12
->> I'm so glad for you. When all my gear was stolen, I provided the police with a similar tip and they did absolutely nothing--said there was no evidence that it was my gear, so they weren't going to do anything. Hmmm, let's see, a 600mm lens is such a common piece of equipment for a CONSTRUCTION WORKER to own....
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Thread Title: Stolen in Columbus Ohio on August 17, 2012, at 2:30 EST.
Thread Started By: Greg Bartram
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