Robbed & Ransacked

Our apartment was robbed today and my cameras, lenses, strobes & cables were stolen. Other things were taken as well, but I wanted folks to know there is stolen camera equipment out there (in Atlanta, and/or points beyond) that is irreplaceable. Please keep your eyes & ears out. I’ll update this post with serials, conditions, and more info when I recover them from my files.

Our place is trashed. My cameras are gone. My livelihood (and plans to cover the presidential race for the next three weeks in South Carolina) has hit a big set-back. My America, indeed.


Here’s a list of what’s currently missing on the camera front, serials forthcoming:

Leica M4P Body (heavy, distinctive wear, missing 40% of leatherette, taped-up lightleaks, 1984, Canada. Serial begins: 164—)
Leica Summaron 35mm lens, 2.8 (1960s)
Leica SF20 Flash
Mamiya 7II Body
Mamiya 80mm lens for 7II
Canon 20D Body (heavy wear, black tape & residue) Serial #0520331944
Canon 28mm fixed 2.8 lens
Canon 50mm fixed 1.4 lens
Canon 17-85 IS Zoom lens
Canon 580EX Flash
Vivitar Flash
Canon S50 Digicamera (w/ 4gb Kingston Compact Flash Card) Serial #2829189919
Canon off-camera flash cord
Off-camera flash bracket
Olympus XA point-and-shoot (broken shutter, totally inoperable)
2 Voice recorders I was preparing to sell/giveaway. Sony & Olympus.

Most of this gear can be seen here:

We have some insurance. I’ll update this post with word(s) about that as I know more. I’ve traveled around the world with this gear, worked hard to acquire and maintain it all, and as things go, it’s all pretty meaningful to me. It’s just “stuff”, but still…

(There’s an update to this post: Part 2.)

69 thoughts on “Robbed & Ransacked”

  1. Michael,

    I sorry about your apartment and gear. I hope you’re able to recover it. In addition to pawn shops and the like, you may want to send you list to KEH, Showcase and any other shops around town that deal in used gear.

  2. Michael – how awful…I hope your equipment turns up and will check here for updates on what you need.

  3. Oh man, I am so sorry to hear this.

    It’s not just stuff – they’re the tools of both your livelihood and your passion, and it’s a huge loss. Not to mention the inherent creepiness of having your private space violated… it’s a lot to deal with.

    Again, I am so sorry… I hope you’re able to recover some of the items and/or that the insurance comes through for you.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear of this. As “stuff” goes, camera gear is pretty much a part of the family. It goes beyond ipods and stereos — those things don’t capture stills of life….. or memories. I’m glad to hear you have insurance and hope it allows you to get back on your feet quickly with work and life. Not a fun way to begin 2008. My best wishes…. with hopes that the worst is now behind you. 🙂

  5. That’s rough. I’ve been there a couple of times and each time it hurts just as bad. Make sure to scan ebay, your local camera stores, pawn shops, etc. Thieves usually try to fence everything ASAP. You might get lucky-I once recovered a Mamiya 7, and at a local pawn shop. If you find your cameras make sure to come armed with a police report.

    Good luck.

  6. Micheal:
    Being in the photo world, I hear about stolen gear alot…
    it sucks when it’s really a good friend of mine.
    Scenerios like this, I believe, sometimes opens up something bigger. I hope it’s sooner than later.

  7. That really sucks dude. Insurance doesn’t pay for all that opportunity either. Yea I would hit the pawn shops right away. Chances are they are crackheads who don’t know what they got.

  8. Michael, you might also try stopping by PPR… I’ve seen a fair amount of used gear in their store. Who knows? Really awful news. I’ll spread the word among the PhotoAwesome crew to keep an eye out around town.

  9. Sorry to hear about this. We live in a crap world sometimes. I’m in the burbs but after a couple of neighbors got robbed I wound up taking most of my gear to work to keep in the safe. What little I still have at home is in a locked cabinet. Hopefully if anyone broke in they wouldn’t have time to get in the cabinet by the time the alarm (or nosey neighbors) alert the cops that are close by.

    You had mentioned “some insurance”. Once you get cleared on that, make sure and get yourself a large safe or locking cabinet to put your new stuff in, and if you don’t have one, a monitored alarm. Sucks that we have to do this just to keep the things we’ve earned, but it’s a nutjob world.

  10. Damn, Michael, that’s fucking horrible. I really hope you manage to get that gear back. You’ve got karma to spare, so I’d like to think you will.

  11. that is just f*cked up. glad to hear you’ve got some insurance. had a camera stolen from my apartment once. i know it’s not just about the stuff.

    bigger and better things coming…

  12. Hi Michael,
    I’m sorry to hear this. I hope it doesn’t suck away too much energy, or keeps you out of the flow. Don’t let the thieves let that do to you. Good luck!

  13. I’m really sorry to hear about what’s happened. I wish I wasn’t in another country as I’d gladly lend you any of my cameras.

  14. Crap, that’s bad. Don’t let it get you down – try and get over the bump and keep shooting and writing.

  15. If you could make a list of things you need to get back on your feet, perhaps people would be willing to help out. I know I would. I know those things can never be replace, but perhaps you can get functional again.

  16. Devastating for you. (I hope it has nothing to do with the more sensitive stories you explored/pursued recently.) Do find a cheap point-and-shoot and get to the campaign trail. We all want to see what you see.

  17. Oh man, I’m so sorry to hear that. Here’s hoping your precious gear makes it’s way back to you ASAP.

  18. This is terrible! I’m so sorry that people are such a**holes. I have a Canon 20D that you are welcome to. Also maybe try KEH to see if you can borrow some equipment and to alert them of your stolen gear. Let us know if there is anything we can do to help.

  19. I have some equipment from years ago my brother in law passed away from cancer and I kept his old equiptment they include a canon camera, which I’m not sure works too well, but Have 2 lenses these are zoon lenses which might suit you, if you need to borrow any of this I don’t know you but I was informed about it from one of my twitter friends. I live in Gwinnett County.

    Let me know I would be more than happy to let you borrow till “some insurance” helps you out.

  20. Check the local pawnshops. Are you in the little five points area? Go down Moreland and check all of those. Also Bford Highway shops. Check in with KEH and Showcase too and alert them.
    Good Luck man.


  21. This is devastating. I hope your gear will be recovered and soon. I, too, wonder if you were a specific target. (Also, I may be wrong, but I have a faint recollection of your car having been broken into. Sorry if I’m wrong about that. I don’t mean to be sensationalistic.)

    A Google search of the first serial number you list for your Canon 20D and Canon S50 Digicamera finds the same serial number as the camera that took this 2006 photo (see exif data):

    Assuming every piece of equipment has a different serial number, that’s odd.

    Anyway, I bookmarked and tagged this post to delicious. Again, good luck.

  22. 🙁

    Watch local Craigslist, that’s how I managed to track the likely suspect who stole my gear last year. Didn’t actually get it back though 🙁

    CONTACT THE POLICE — especially if you find a Craigslist link, they are savvy to it and can try creating a “sting” buyer

  23. Sorry to hear of your lose. You may want to monitor eBay for a while. I have first hand experience with the following story. A stolen team ring showed up on eBay after being dropped off at one of those “we sell your stuff on eBay” stores. It was eventually recovered by police and returned to it’s owner. The person who dropped it off was arrested as other stolen items were found at his place.

    Good luck!

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