Sunday, February 5, 2012

Retrieving a Stolen Camera - Hopefully

Hello Dear Readers,
Once again, sorry for my long absence from the blogging scene. But enough of that. Big terrible news: a few nights ago while resting peacefully in my friend's car, my camera, my beautiful Nikon D40, was taken against her will.

My Camera and me at an event in 2010, better times.
My camera is in the hands of a dirty thief and I'm determined to get her back!

How will I accomplish this? Sacramento is a huge town and my camera could be anywhere by now. Well, fun fact - all cameras have a unique image ID number.

So I paid a little visit to a site called StolenCameraFinder.com, my husband had read about it on Boing Boing.

I signed up for the free membership and dropped a unique photo in to their program; two-seconds later I had my serial number! Empowered by this information I began scouring the internet for more camera recovery resources.

A small side note here; always take a picture of the bottom of your camera so you have the serial number handy if it ever (God forbid) is stolen.

I also found Camera Trace by GadgetTrack; for a one time fee of $10, the service saves your camera's information and tracks the internet looking for jpegs that match your camera. Once a photo from your camera shows up on flickr or facebook you get notified and law enforcement can retrieve the camera and bring it back to you!


TechCrunch.com reported, "A photographer, John Heller, had $9,000 worth of gear stolen at a shoot in Hollywood. After giving up all hope of ever getting his Nikon D3 back, he checked with a site called GadgetTrak that scans Flickr and other image upload sites for photos matching the serial number of his DSLR. In a few seconds he had found shots with serial numbers matching his D3 belonging to a professional photographer. With the help of the police he got his gear back and now the tracking service is a recommend site for LAPD detectives on the hunt for fugitive cameras."
This story filled me with all kinds of hope!


GadgetTrack has a similar service for laptops and other web-connecting devices. You don't have to wait until one of your gadget is stolen. Registering your cameras and laptops now will make it easier to find if they ever do go missing. They even send you a physical lost and found tag to attach to your device to help people get it back to you if it goes missing. 

I also reported my camera stolen with stolen-property.com, not sure if anything will come of that.
In addition to all that I've been checking craigslist for my model of camera and on Monday I'm going to call around to pawn shops.

The lesson learned here is:
  1. Don't make it easy to be a victim.
  2. Take pictures of all your serial numbers and store them on dropbox or someplace they won't get deleted. Keep copies on your phone so you can easily present proof of ownership when you come into contact with your stolen items.
I hope this post is helpful. Also, if anyone's seen a home-sick-looking Nikon D40 probably accompanied by a slingback camera bag shoot me an e-mail at forevermelody@gmail.com - thanks!

3 comments:

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures said...

I hope you get it back, I would be devastated!

mekatsu mekatsu said...

I hope you get it back too! You are one smart lady and I'm going to follow your tips.
Kat

Kate said...

Oh, I hope you find it! That's awful!

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