Camera gear is some of the most lucrative stuff for thieves to nab and it seems like that trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, especially when people read about the eye-popping sums robbers took in Leica gear from Scottish optical equipment store Ffordes.
Making off with at least $200K in expensive Leica equipment, the thieves were likely professionals and knew what they were looking for as they executed a surgical operation to remove the gear from the store’s storage cabinet all while causing minimal fuss and exiting so quickly that authorities didn’t have time to apprehend them.
Website DP Review received an email message from Ffordes manager Alister Bowie who gave his take on the incident: From the CCTV footage, the thieves were very well prepared, not just for removing the safety window units but timing…They were in and out in under 10 minutes. They went directly to the cabinets with the most expensive equipment inside [passing two other cabinets], broke the doors down and started filling the bags that they had taken in with them. [They were] all suited up and covered [but some] made mistakes and Police are looking over this at the moment. Out of the 12 shelves they only took from 9 of them — the most expensive items and the easiest to sell — they knew what they were looking for.”
DP Review goes on to explain the levels of sophistication employed in this robbery. Not only did the thieves disable the street lights outside of the store but they also allegedly scoped it out for some time and had a lookout car positioned somewhere down the road to alert them to authorities arriving.
For its part, Leica has worked with the store to list all of the stolen equipment as such in the company’s registries which is really one of the few things they could do. Likely the equipment will make it to the gray market but for those unlucky buyers who happen to think they got a deal on Leica equipment there will probably be some broken hearts when it comes time to service the unit.