The power of the Internet to bring people to justice never ceases to amaze.
Little did some camera thieves in Calgary, Canada know that they would become the focus of a social media and Internet-led hunt for them after they robbed an iconic store beloved by many Canadian photographers.
Thieves stole over $USD 12,000 worth of equipment from The Camera Store last weekend.
Thanks to help from the community online through social media, the thieves were apprehended by police who led a sting operation at a Calgary Mall while posing as interested buyers of the stolen equipment according to a report from The Calgary Herald. This was after the stolen merchandise showed up on an online market.
Calgary Sergeant Lee Dunbar acted on tips from the public that spotted the merch on online buy-and-sell site Kijiji.
Among the gear stolen was a Hasselblad X1D. When questioned about it, the thieves offered the seller lenses and other accessories that matched the descriptions The Camera Store had given police.
Though the Hasselblad X1D was returned to The Camera Store, a rare Leica MP 1 Safari was not recovered – quite a loss for the store as only 1500 of that camera were ever made.
The two suspects arrested for trafficking in stolen property were both Calgary residents though it is not certain they are the people who broken into The Camera Store.
The Camera Store is known in the photography community on YouTube for their camera reviews and tests.
A member of the store’s staff speculated that the robbery was targeted because $USD 80,000 worth of camera equipment was also left untouched.
A $USD 3800 shopping spree reward was offered for information that led to the arrest of the robbers. As described above, it is unknown if the two Calgary residents arrested, a 60 year old and thirty five year old man, are also responsible for the break-in at The Camera Store.