Stolen Cameras in California Sold in Open Air San Francisco Street Market


You might have read some of our stories about photographers getting robbed in California.

Golden Gate Bridge during daytime
Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel

Don’t worry, if you’ve missed them here, we have more than a few for you to catch up on which you can do at this link, and here, as well as this one here.

Long story short, there’s what seems like an epidemic of photographer robberies in California and they are getting more brazen by the case. But did you ever wonder where everything that was stolen went later? Most of us probably assumed eBay or some other online venue; few of us could have predicted that a large portion of this stuff was heading just down the road to an open-air market in San Francisco for stolen items.

And with a police force that cannot make pursuits in the case of nonviolent crimes such as robberies, you have a recipe for disaster in the San Francisco area where photographers are concerned. After all, some ask, it seems like this law alone somewhat subsidizes and makes something like an open-air market for stolen goods possible.

We also shouldn’t pretend like cameras are the only things being lost here. We’ve reported on deaths during violent altercations and even stories where a robber followed a photographer all the way back to his home outside of the city to rob him. It’s a real issue, and people are starting to get fed up with it all, tourists and photographers alike.

What’s one possible solution? PetPixel reports that Mayor London Breed wants to force street vendors to obtain permits before…selling their stolen goods. Of course, the question as to why someone who is already a criminal would then be compelled to follow the law through registration is another question entirely. The thinking behind this is that if the vendor doesn’t have a permit, their goods can be confiscated by the Department of Public Works.

Again, when you have someone willing to hurt or kill someone else to steal goods, the Department of Public Works probably isn’t the agency you want to task with handling things. There’s also the argument that District Attorney Chesa Boudin won’t take these cases all the way to the court making any kind of arrests and related activity superfluous. In short, it’s a huge mess and makes for a dangerous situation for photographers with equipment of any valuation. Stay safe out there, folks!

Have you kept up with the various stories of photographers getting robbed in California, particularly in and around the San Francisco area? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

We have some other photography news on Light Stalking at this link right here.


About Author

Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

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