Caught on Camera: Thieves Smash a Car Window in Moving Traffic and Steal $7,000 in Camera Gear

Thieves have been filmed stealing more than $7,000’s worth of camera equipment by smashing a rear windscreen, grabbing a bag, and jumping back into a car before driving away at speed.

Real estate photographers Ben and Masha Barghabany of Home Shots were in slow-moving traffic in San Francisco when the theft took place. The entire incident was caught by the camera of a Tesla which happened to be behind the couple, showing the surprising speed at which the attack took place.

According to reports, the photographers had just finished shooting at a property in Dolores Park. Masha Barghabany later said that she had noticed the dark Honda Accord following them shortly after they had set off from the shoot. 

As the car sped away, the couple jumped out of the car and immediately called 911. The Tesla driver, Alex, stopped to let them know that his camera had recorded the incident, and later spoke to abc7 News.

Speaking to Petapixel, Ben Barghabany says that he lost “a Nikon Z6, Nikon 14-30mm, DJI Mavic Air 2, DJI Ronin SC, Flashpoint speedlight, filters, memory cards, and some other small stuff,” amounting to a total of around $7,000. Assuming that the photographers have insurance, their equipment should be covered.

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Spy Black's picture

Hmm, rather odd. License plate was recorded of the getaway car, perhaps you should have a follow up on this.

John rucker's picture

This kind of thing happens all the time in San Francisco. 99.9% of the time the get away car was stolen. 100% of the time SF cops will do nothing. They may write up a report for your insurance, but they will not investigate. They tell you, to your face, “It’s just stuff, get over it.” If a cop actually saw what happened they wouldn’t even chase the the criminals. They aren’t allowed to under department rules. One of many reasons San Francisco has lost its luster and become a dumpster fire.

Robert Nurse's picture

My first question is: how would a thief know my gear was back there? My guess would be this couple had been cased prior. This is why I went out and got specific insurance coverage for my gear that's not attached to homeowner's or auto coverage. Hopefully, all this couple loses is the gear. The auto policy should cover replacement minus deductible. I hope a job isn't on the memory cards. But, man, I hate @#$! thieves!

David T's picture

Says in the article they were followed after the on location shoot.

Tom Reichner's picture

I think you may have written your comment before you read the article that accompanied the video. Is this, indeed, the case?

Tony Clark's picture

The thieves saw them at their shoot, followed them looking for the opportunity and took advantage of it. Whether the car was stolen or not, you can't get a tag number? I assume the photographer has insurance and the sense to have the memory cards on their person.

STEVEN WEBB's picture

That's why you install a locking heavy-duty metal box in your trunk, bolted to the floor of the trunk from inside the box, and store your gear in it. That should be done with any vehicle you use for a photography business, but especially if you live in a place like SF. And carry a gun.

Sam Tang's picture

And what would have a gun done for them in this situation?

Ivan Lantsov's picture

it keep perp at scene

Sam Tang's picture

Watch the video again. By the time the victim exited the car the perpetrators had already driven away.
So armed victims could have a) shot at the getaway car as it speed down the street? b) Pursued in chase (albeit in a Prius.) or c)...?

Graham Taylor's picture

There is nothing quite like escalating a robbery to a firearms incident to enforce masculinity.

Tony Clark's picture

I didn’t see the part about the Go Fund Me until this evening. It looks like they’ve raised $4800 so far, does this anger anyone else? If you are conducting business and not carrying insurance, why ask others to cover your loss?

Sam Tang's picture

They’re going for double?