Leica Store SoHo Looted During NYC's Unrest

Leica Store SoHo Looted During NYC's Unrest

In the midst of the weekend's unrest across the country, looters ransacked NYC's Leica Store SoHo early Monday morning along with a number of other luxury stores in the area.

Similar events are taking place in cities across the country at the moment, including one in which Chicago's Central Camera was sadly burned down. This Leica store did not fare too much better, as the looters made off with all but a few items from the store's inventory that were saved by a few good Samaritans.

In the video footage below, looters are pouring into stores such as Chanel in New York and left little for Leica Store SoHo owner Elliot Kurland (pictured above). Many may not realize Leica stores are owned by private individuals. This video sheds some light on the experience of your own store being ransacked and not having much power to do anything about it as Kurland recalls his brother's advice of not risking his life by going to the store that night.

With most modern Leica cameras easily breaking the $10,000 barrier for a body and one lens, there is not doubt the store has suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses, not to mention the damage done to the store's interior. Thankfully, the owner of a neighboring store who was there that evening grabbed what she could, locked it away, and came to return some of the inventory to Kurland the next morning.

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Rick Rizza's picture

This is absolutely unacceptable and very much destroyed the essence of the protest.

*in the mean while, eBay runs on the background look fot a Leica Apo lenses bargain

Erpillar Bendy's picture

The essence of the protest wasn't destroyed at all. This shop and many others were looted. Looting always happens in times like these, because looters take advantage of the police being all lined up like military at the protest. You have to wonder why police waste time gassing and charging peaceful protestors, arresting journalists, etc. when they should be protecting very foreseeable looting targets. NYC has a lot of police, but there seem to be many blocks where they had no presence at all.

Lawrence S's picture

Imagine being a cop and grabbing a looter and he fights back. About 100 smartphones go live instantly, showing you, beating and struggling with a - for the sake of this example - black man. I understand it's an impossible situation to do any good. Any action will be called out as being racist. Protecting a store with a white owner? Racist. Stopping a black man or even any man or woman, from looting or damaging property? Fighting against the mission of the protest. So racist. Removing a news crew? All the media show you arresting the black reporter and not the rest of the non-black crew, because that would make it look like it was not an action out of racism.

And one thing that nobody dears to say aloud: what if the cop who was the main cause of the death of George Floyd is just an *sshole and places that knee on anyone that was in that situation?

So many questions and things to think about, point out biased and filtered content. But that is now also racist, because that's "whataboutism". It's getting ridiculous.

Erpillar Bendy's picture

Wow, straw man much?

You ask, so what if he was just an *sshole? Of course cops shouldn't put a knee on anyone's neck, no matter what color they are. And cops shouldn't suffocate anyone to death, no matter what color they are. Brutal policing is a widespread and tragic problem, but it's much more likely to happen to black people. If you don't understand that, you should.

Some guy wrote on Twitter (I'm paraphrasing): George Floyd and I were both arrested for passing a counterfeit $20 bill. For George, it was a death sentence. But for me (a white man), it's a story I sometimes tell at parties.

Anyway, my point above was about protecting stores from looting, not about protecting "white store owners" or store owners of any particular color. It's funny that you would try to racialize the protection of stores. My point was that it's surprising how often big city police seem to neglect to protect such very obvious looting targets as jewelry stores, camera stores, clothing stores, etc. Videos show police knocking down protestors and arresting journalists, while other videos show many city blocks with no police presence at all, just looters running out of stores with their hands full of stolen goods. It seems as if some police have misplaced priorities, focusing more on suppression of free speech than protection of life and property.

Lawrence S's picture

The problem is less race, more socioeconomic status. There are numerous videos available of officers wounding or even killing white people. And vice verso. But without the protest and looting. But more people get killed on both sides in communities with low income and low chance of improving their life.

I would completely understand the outcry if the ratio was 2:1 in terms of colour of victims but that's not even the case. This could have been the opportunity to demand a change in how cops behave in a situation for éveryone. But it's been narrowed down to one race.

You'll probably say I'm racializing it again. Which is kind off ironic, in a issue that ONLY centers on colour and one huge generalization "Cops kill black people".. It's just sad that anyone talking facts and showing stats is immediately shoved aside and called racist or white privilege. There is no debate. Just sides, growing apart. And social media fuels the polarization. Everyone, on both sides, fighting to go viral with the most radical statement, not afraid to use fake facts to support it.

It's a complex situation, simplified to keep it burning.

Erpillar Bendy's picture

Well, you are right that this is an opportunity to demand a change in how cops behave in a situation for everyone. I think that's what people are doing. Because if there are proper reforms, then they will apply to everyone. This particular instance is about race because it seems that George Floyd was treated horribly because of his race. But the victim of police brutality could be of another race next time. So reforming policing would benefit everyone of every race and color.

Erpillar Bendy's picture

Here's an example of police brutality against a white guy. And they will likely get away with it. A senior citizen is knocked on his back and ends up unconscious, bleeding from his ear. Police seem to think that the most appropriate way to deal with protests about police brutality is ... to provide ever more evidence of police brutality, giving people ever more reasons to protest police brutality. Police like these would feel right at home hurting people in any repressive regime.
They can't catch looters or arsonists, but they can knock an old guy unconscious and pretend they did some good. The law should be changed to correct these abuses.

Lawrence S's picture

This is a good example of mistakes on both sides. We see a line of police force trying to clean the street and asking (yelling) people to clear off. One man does the exact and complete opposite and goes into the stream and confronts an officer. This was the only possible outcome. The push was extremely soft. He lost his balance and fell badly. If you're really cynical, you might think he give in into the fall - as an European I see this all the time in videos from the US where somebody gets pushed or shovelled - baiting for a law suit. I'm not saying it was the case here, but it would not surprise me. Either way, he fell very badly. Bad luck. The cop did not want him to hit his head on the pavement. The cop did not want him to bleed out of his ear. Any other person would have received the same push - possibly even harder. Don't even pretend that an officer would or should stop the sweeping of the street and have a nice friendly conversation with the gentleman or anyone who feels like it. That's fantasy.

Erpillar Bendy's picture

Wow, it's as if you didn't watch the Buffalo NY video!

1. The police were not trying to "clean" the street or "sweep" the street. The street was not dirty. Do you see any looters or arsonists on that street? No, you don't. Because there weren't any. They are trying to suppress peaceful protest, not clean anything. A video from another angle shows there was no violence or looting happening in front of them. The problem is they have been militarized, so they act like military, not police. When the military are on the march, they don't stop for anybody, especially a civilian walking toward them, because that civilian could be carrying a weapon. But in a protest situation, that's stupid & violent policing. That's not how police should act. Remember that protest is a constitutionally protected activity.

2. This man apparently found one of the police helmets somewhere and was returning it to them. You can see it in his hand. He did not "confront" any officer. So you totally misread the video. They are not even shouting as he walks toward them. They only start shouting after he is already speaking with them.

3. This push was certainly not extremely soft. Two officers pushed him at the same time, possibly with added force from a 3rd officer. When you push a man to get out of the way, there is a reasonable chance that he will fall back and get very hurt. The police are responsible for that foreseeable outcome of their behavior. They had reckless disregard about whether this man was hurt or killed by their push. The man was knocked to the ground. There was no problem with his balance. Saying he "lost his balance" is like saying George Floyd lost his balance when the police gently sat on him.

4. This man fell very badly, cracking his head hard on the ground. There's another video that shows how hard his head hit the ground, and the loud noise that it made when hitting the ground. For you to say that he "gave in" to the fall is to blame the victim. This man had a purpose: to return a police helmet to the police. He was not there to pretend to fall.

5. The Buffalo police went so far as to make up a blatant lie about the incident, saying the man "tripped and fell". It seems they'll make up any lie to excuse brutal conduct. It's as if they don't understand how video works.

6. If the police were acting like decent human beings, they would have stopped to accept the helmet being returned to them. Instead, they chose to hurt an innocent man, guilty of no violence, no looting, no arson. They chose to be brutal — the very reason why people protest. This is all about "dominating" the protesters. In other words, it is about violent, militarized suppression of free speech. It's a total waste of police resources and likely to lead to many civilian lawsuits. What a stupid waste of tax dollars.

7. Police engaged in stupid policing (like this) is one reason why looters and arsonists are so successful. The police are going around knocking down old men, beating girls with sticks, arresting food delivery people and journalists, etc.. When the police are so busy with stupid wasteful nonsense, it's no wonder that looters and arsonists get away with their crimes. It's a sad totally messed up way of policing, focused on the wrong people. I'm sure that the looters and arsonists approve of such misplaced priorities, because it makes their crimes so much easier. Where were the NYC police when the Leica store was robbed? No doubt they were lined up like military in front of protestors somewhere, letting the looters run wild.

8. NY's Governor Cuomo called the police conduct in this video "fundamentally offensive and frightening". He naively wonders "why" this happened. And yet this is exactly what happens when the police are trained to suppress protest like a military force. This is exactly how they will behave. Brutally knocking down people "in the way" is expected of them. They are acting in line with policy and training to be brutal.

There is no point in defending really dumb, unconstitutional, wasteful policing. Even the Governor of NY can't defend it.

The Photographer's picture

Shame they had to carry all that weight. They should have just jacked the red dots and left the rest. Thats where all the money is hahahaha

Curious why shops like these done have a metal gate for the front? Or maybe they have one and I didnt see it. Im surprised the insurance company doesnt demand one before they insure

Grant Watkins's picture

Stop victim-shaming........

Charlie Ewing's picture

Like Chicago Central Camera did? I bet they had everything in place to protect their inventory from smash and grabs, not coordinated assault. You're victim shaming.

Locks and security are built to withstand a specified number of minutes with a hacksaw. Nothing is "secure" secure.

Deleted Account's picture

Insurance will cover it. And before some genius declares something along the lines of 'but most policies specifically exclude riot or civil disturbance'; this was clearly a well-planned and well-executed burglary, which the policy wording will respond to, in addition to the business interruption.

Move along, nothing to see here.

Peter Mueller's picture

Regardless, nothing in life is ever free. Even if covered by insurance, the claims result in increased prices to you and me. The insured will have to pass those costs on to remain profitable. Saddened at how math-challenged so many commenters on these topics are these days.

Deleted Account's picture

Yes, I am familiar with underwriting and actuarial principles.

Deleted Account's picture


Ad hominem.

Erpillar Bendy's picture

Speaking of belligerent, look in the mirror.

Deleted Account's picture

Show me on the doll where my comments hurt you.

What sort of moron would sell a premium product, from a retail store, and not have BI insurance. If that's the case, he deserves to fail.

Bored now.

Dan Seefeldt's picture

Leica may chose not to reopen there.

Shaun Carta's picture

So just because insurance may cover it, everything is alright?

Alfonse Diantonio's picture

There you are! Like I promise, here are some of the questions I asked you before that you didn’t have time to answer yet. Hope this makes it easier for you!

“ Mr. Bro’s why do you always rage against people who are left but never against people on right? You sound very one sided. So angry, which is so sad. Please try to be nicer and more even! Thanks”

iran ramirez's picture

He’s a waste of oxygen Alfonse, don’t fall for it, just a trumper looking for attention

Erpillar Bendy's picture

Bernie Bros is likely a trumper, but for some reason chooses a deceptive name, as if he's a Bernie supporter.

Alfonse Diantonio's picture

I respectfully disagree, Mr. Ramirez. Mr. Bros is not a waste of oxygen but he is very lost and sad and angry. I hope he stops being so lonely and irritable. Maybe with love and kindness he will improve as a person!

Thank you for the support! Its good to know youve got my back!


Deleted Account's picture

You are awesomely stupid. Thanks for the laugh.

Kent Smith's picture

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be saying it's okay loot and ransack a store because it's insured. And if it's not, then it's the owner's fault, not the looters. Although pretty much the rest of the world considers looting and ransacking and general destruction of property a criminal offense. And FYI, insurance won't cover it all -- Weeks of lost business, the agony of seeing your livelihood demolished, the work that will go into repairing everything.

Deleted Account's picture

Given that you can't appreciate the difference between burglary and looting...

Also, I don't think insurance works how you think it does.

Garrett Reid's picture

There is no difference.

Deleted Account's picture

I'm very much afraid, both legally and in terms of insurance, there is.

David Pavlich's picture

I agree that there is, but how do you prove intent? Typical experience goes out the window due to the extremely chaotic environment.

Deleted Account's picture

In the same fashion you would ordinaririly do so. The fact pattern appears to make it relatively obvious.

Timothy Roper's picture

Without video it's hard to say, but this doesn't seem like looting. It sounds more like a "smash and grab" robbery, which have become pretty common, with or without protests and rioting going on. I suppose all the chaos makes them easier, but looting is a direct result of all the chaos, and is really its own, distinct "activity." When all this calms down, the looting will stop, but smash and grabs won't.

David Pavlich's picture

Maybe it is a smash and grab, but how do you prove it since it happened when there was pure chaos all around?

Erpillar Bendy's picture

Smash & grab = looting = stealing = robbery = theft = break in & take stuff. Whatever you call it, it's the same thing. You're making a distinction without a difference.

Maksims Ter-Oganesovs's picture

Shame! Absolutely unacceptable and very much destroyed the essence of the protest

Spy Black's picture

I didn't know The Leica Store was even a thing.