Anyone that knows anything about optical equipment can tell you that even low-level gear can fetch thousands of dollars on the market.
And it seems that thieves know that, too, as camera stores across the United States are experiencing a rash of robberies according to a report from PetaPixel. Image via Nicolas Postiglioni. One instance recounted by PetaPixel involved thieves actually sawing straight through the wall of a camera store to access the Nikon storage inside. The robbery occurred in Palo Alto, California at Keeble & Shuchat Photography and resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in lost inventory. Another even more dramatic example offered by PetaPixel is that of a Dodge truck ramming through the front of a camera store in Atlanta, Georgia and then stealing as much equipment as they could grab. You can even view footage of robbers cleaning out a store in Southern California by clicking here. In each instance there seems to be a similar modus operandi tying all of the phenomenon together: Thieves typically target high-end equipment that they can move out of the country for high return. The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin says that many of these cameras are shipped abroad to places like South America where tracking the stolen merchandise by serial number is more difficult. Another thing compounding camera shop owner frustration is that it seems like, outside of helping with the necessary paperwork for insurance claims, law enforcement officers are not as motivated as optical equipment merchants struck by theft would like. Of course, outside of taking every defensive measure economically feasible, what other options do camera store owners have other than to hope that the system works to apprehend the people responsible? But it all makes sense from the standpoint of portability and ease of theft. Outside of smartphones, cameras and camera lens can command a lot of money for their relative size. Hopefully more robust systems of theft deterrence on multiple levels can help reel the problem in as far as future camera owners are concerned.