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Bigtime House Burglery. Did you ever get a stolen lens back?

ckatosmith

Washington state, US
143 posts

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ckatosmith Registered since 25th Aug 2007
Sun 18-Mar-12 02:34 PM | edited Sun 18-Mar-12 05:29 PM by ckatosmith

So our pet sitter called us tell us upon arrival for her daily time with our pets that the garage door is open, my car is gone, all the cupboards/drawers are open, and the flat screen is missing, the pets are not in sight... It took only a few seconds to realize before she ran out of the house, called the police, etc.

We were out of town and my husband literally on a flight to arrive home that afternoon. Car recovered, pets found hours later (cats had hidden in the house), the police said it was such a big job that he called in forensics... who found no fingerprints, either in the house or on my car (found ~ 10 miles away).

While I have some of my major equipment/bodies with me on my current trip, gone and very sadly missed are my Sigmonster (300-800mm), and many Nikkors (PC-85mm tilt-shift, 105VR, 14-24 f/2.8, 50 f/1.4) and even my Nikon Eclipse Microscope.

I had serial numbers for all the lenses except the Sigmonster, because I save original boxes, but I don't have the Sigmonster box since I have moved many times since 2006.

I get a sick feeling when I scan Craigslist or Ebay... and I've been told by empathetic co-workers to try looking in the Pawn Shops.

Since I do stock photography on the side, my house insurance will not cover the photography equipment (though at least I have treated it honestly like a business from the get go (2005) and our tax accountant has been depreciating the equipment. Still, I don't have $20,000 laying around to REPLACE it... the Sigmonster now retails for $10K. I didn't realize until a year ago that home insurance doesn't cover camera equipment used for a business (it was a growing hobby to me), so I had just started looking into the options of an outside business policy.

We didn't have an alarm system, but are sure putting one in this week, have replaced all locks on our home and shop (on the property), and will also add video, having a vehicle rekeyed.

All the things we 'should' have done in burglery aftermath, but special camera gear insurance was on the backburner.

Amazingly, I still have all my camera bodies. My identity is out there (our office files were gone through) and I feel violated and wonder what the future holds. We did the 'notify the banks and credit card companies routine', have changed our passwords, opened all new accounts, now have active monitoring of our ID information through a notification service (our home insurance company signed us up for a year subscription free)...

They had tried to buy stuff through the X-box they stole, but fortunately, we were one step ahead (card was denied).

I hope my tragic to me story will encourage all of you to write those serial numbers of your lenses down (exif seems to only give serial numbers of camera bodies), consider if your home security needs to be beefed up, and TAKE ACTION.

At least there was no loss of life.

But I ponder... should I take my Equipment list off of the web??

Has anyone ever used a 'gun cabinet' or other method of storing equipment at home that is harder to break into?

Has anyone ever had a lens stolen that they got back?

Did you ever find your stuff in a pawn shop or??

Well, thanks for listening.

It is 'possible' I 'might' get around 5K for the camera lenses stolen... Our fate in that regard sounds it's a call that will be made by 'The Adjustor'. I had irreplaceable heirloom jewelry stolen also... And if I decide to throw all that back into lens replacement, I'm trying to think of which long lens I would replace.

Very sadly but doubtful to me will be the Sigmonster... $10K (or even $6K-$7K street or used price) seems too much for a lens I can't take on air travel.

I do now use the Nikon 1 V1 for it's 2.7 crop factor with the FT-1 and, because I had them with me on travel, have my TC 2.0 converter used with the 70-200 VR. I have been eyeing the 200-400mm VR II (?) f/4 that I believe I could use a 1.7 TC with, since I am already on the list for a Nikon D800E body that should be able to focus with f/8 'light'.

Which lens would you buy if you were trying to replace your long reach? (I still have the 80-400mm VR, also because it was in my 'travel kit'. Wow, This was the first time I paid extra money to check a 2nd bag, so I had more carry on room for photo equipment...fortuitous in retrospect, but hindsight tells me I could have probably done alot better by moving into action in getting that home security system installed sooner...

Thanks for listening...

Carolina

Equipment and technique are important,
Vision is supreme,
Passion the reason...

CarolinaSmith.com

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