[News] See How Easily Your Camera Bag Can Be Stolen

The video quality isn't that great but this footage will still give you pause to think. See what happened when UK photographer Tom Bird stopped into a bar to have drinks with his mates.

"The actual theft happens at 1:14 in this video. It's worth pointing out that this thief is not actually very good (although it does look like he got away with it): He's spending time scouting around and looking shifty. I've seen CCTV footage of real professionals at work: They'll send in one person to scout for potential loot, and then another person will swoop in, someone will cause a brief distraction ("Sorry, mate, can I just get to the bar?" or "Excuse me, do you know what time it is" - or simply drop a pint of beer somewhere else in the pub), whilst their accomplice walks up, grabs the bag, and walks off. It's over within seconds, and usually it happens so quickly that even a trained CCTV operator will be struggling to see exactly what happened.
It's easy to say 'don't take your equipment into a pub, then', but the truth is that in London, most of us don't have offices or cars to store our stuff in. So: If you do carry your equipment around, keep an extra-close eye on it; it's too easy for someone to just casually walk up, grab it, and saunter off with your photography gear."

In older news a TV show demonstrates how easy it is to have your lens stolen right off it's body. Check out the below video if you haven't already.

Bag Contents:Canon 5D Mk II(serial 0630316561), 24-70 f/2.8(serial 1398778), 50mm f/1.2(serial 1571760), 16-35 f/2.8, Dell Mini 9 laptop, Brown T-shirt with "Fox racing" logo, LONAP branded jumper and mug.
Watch your shit guys and gals. There are a lot of cowardly parasites out there.
via [Pixiq] [PetaPixel]
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I never let my equipment go out of my sight. Slows me down @ events, but It beats replacing everything.

We gotta get this T-shirt BACK. Insurance can cover the rest.  He should have been carrying a Leica m9 or fuji x100. Then no one would steal his gear because they would think its old junk. Or he could just wear it on his neck and look mad cool and say stuff like, "yeah I shoot art."

I have a LowePro Flipside bag, and I always keep it on me so no one can steal me anything :)


I carry a reasonable amount of gear daily and like the odd pint, I've come up with a series of ways to get around this problem:

1) if you're on a stool, pick it up thread the strap into it, plonk your bum down and have a pint. If they can pull the bag out without moving the stool they deserve it. 2) Don't leave it behind you, leave it directly in front of you, it should always be in your peripheral vision. Unless they're very pretty you're going to notice them trying it. 3) Keep the strap around your leg, the downside is after a few pints this becomes more of a danger to yourself than anything.

j.j.'s picture

Or don't go into a bar at all, lol.

Wait, seriously? Who leaves that much kit unattended in a bar? The guy who stole the bag is labeled a git, but it isn't at all clear from the footage who the owner was. Sure people shouldn't steal stuff and the git is a git. But the former owner is a dumb-ass. This is like leaving a $100 note on the curb, walking away, then saying "See how easily your money can be stolen." Duh!

It's REALLY easy to get your stuff stolen if you leave it sitting on the floor, unattended, in a bar. That doesn't require a smart git, just a stupid (former) owner.

The few times I have my gear with me at a bar, I do as Nicholas, get a chair and strap it down. Other times I just place the bag below me, without strapping my leg.

But the best way in a bar environment is to keep the amount of gear low, just a lens or such.

Chris R.'s picture

My gear stays on me at all times. Even when I'm sleeping. (kidding about that last part of course)

rafael maduro's picture

i do have it on my bed all the time with me NO KIDDING!!!

Nothing new. My buddy photographer is very unlucky he got bags stolen twice in the 1 year. Each bag had 10k+ worth of lenses and bodies. 

ONE WORD BUY INSURANCE! They paid it all off in full. 

Its not cheap but if you do weddings you NEED to have insurance like that. 

whenever I have to leave my camera/lens bag lying around and I feel my stuff is at risk of being walked away with (includes shoots in public places), I use one of these:
http://www.amazon.com/32sports-com-Personal-Door-Window Alarm/dp/B000B9J4H0/ref=pd_sim_sbs_hi_6I keep the siren in the outer pocket of the bag and latch the looped string to a static object (e.g. chair leg)...the siren goes off as soon as the jack attached to the string is pulled out of the socket on the siren, which seems to be short circuiting it when plugged in.in short, recommended and easy to use. Just make sure you don't make the string loop easily viewable.So far it didn't catch me any thieves, just a couple of guys; a janitor and a curious guy who "thought" the bag was forgotten there..

Mokhtar Beyrouth's picture

My gear got stolen during the summer in Beirut, while i was parking next to a big mall. i had 5d MarkII as well, with 24-70 , 2 prime lenses 50mm & 105mm + my 70-300 mm + my flashes... They thieves open broke the door & took everything i have!!

Guys don't ever leave anything in your car specially your gear & don't let them out of your sight even for a second.. from now if i can't leave my camera bag at home or in a safe place i walk, sit , eat hugging my camera bag!