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Author Topic: The best ways to (not) get your gear stolen  (Read 15165 times)

Tijn

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The best ways to (not) get your gear stolen
« on: January 28, 2012, 02:56:58 PM »
Hai all, another question here.

Along with an increase of image quality from my new incoming gear, I was wondering about risks of it getting stolen. In particular because one of the lenses that I'm buying is not just an L lens, but a white one too. It stands out. It'll be my first.

Of course I know that I can get insurance for it, and I probably will. But apart from that, I like to have some practical information about camera- or lens-stealing in general, and how to prevent it.

As I see it, there are several different 'types' of theft that occur in different situations. One is theft while being threatened or forced physically, which one cannot really do much against (unless you want to put up a fight, something that a robber is likely to be more trained at, your only other option is avoiding 'dangerous' places altogether). The other is the quite conspicuous "hit and run" - simply snatching the camera off you, or cutting the band from your strap or bag and running off with it.

I think most thieves would rather strike unnoticed. Leaving your bag unattended after or while hopping around with a white lens is probably a good way to get it stolen. But apart from such obvious things... Are there any specific situations to look out for?

What are your experiences with equipment being stolen? (Sorry in advance if it happened to you, it has to suck a hellofalot...)
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 02:58:45 PM by Tijn »

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The best ways to (not) get your gear stolen
« on: January 28, 2012, 02:56:58 PM »

Canon 14-24

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Re: The best ways to (not) get your gear stolen
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2012, 03:14:56 PM »
buddy system and tripod for self defense

Z

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Re: The best ways to (not) get your gear stolen
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2012, 03:22:24 PM »
The other is the quite conspicuous "hit and run" - simply snatching the camera off you, or cutting the band from your strap or bag and running off with it.

You could cover all of your gear in a thin, even layer of vaseline. This would make snatching more difficult for would-be thieves and also improves the water sealing of many bodies and lenses.

pakosouthpark

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Re: The best ways to (not) get your gear stolen
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2012, 03:33:43 PM »
The other is the quite conspicuous "hit and run" - simply snatching the camera off you, or cutting the band from your strap or bag and running off with it.

You could cover all of your gear in a thin, even layer of vaseline. This would make snatching more difficult for would-be thieves and also improves the water sealing of many bodies and lenses.

whaaaaaaat?? can you give us more details of that?

Z

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Re: The best ways to (not) get your gear stolen
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2012, 03:35:14 PM »
Okay, and here's my serious response...

If you're concerned about having your strap cut, you could go with one of the several brands (e.g. Sun Sniper) that offer straps with steel cables running through.  Apply common sense and an awareness of your surroundings - a common method of pickpocketing DSLR users is to detach the lens from the camera if it's hanging from your strap at your side/back. You can prevent this by keeping a hand on your lens when it's at your side. Avoid the 'tourist look' i.e. camera hanging around your neck touching your belly with "Canon 5D Mark II" written in big letters on the strap. Ditch the branded strap and go for something less conspicuous (I'm a fan of the BlackRapid RS-4 - not really for the reasons I just mentioned but for comfort and practicality). If you're carrying a tripod you look more familiar with the area and more professional, too.

For the record, please don't cover your equipment in petroleum jelly.  :D

unfocused

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Re: The best ways to (not) get your gear stolen
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2012, 04:00:51 PM »
Quote
For the record, please don't cover your equipment in petroleum jelly.

Oh crap! Now how am I supposed to get all that petroleum jelly off?
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neuroanatomist

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Re: The best ways to (not) get your gear stolen
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2012, 04:05:38 PM »
For the record, please don't cover your equipment in petroleum jelly.  :D

Damn, I was so looking forward to a soft-focus effect on all my shots...
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Re: The best ways to (not) get your gear stolen
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2012, 04:05:38 PM »

Tijn

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Re: The best ways to (not) get your gear stolen
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2012, 04:09:03 PM »
Okay, and here's my serious response...

If you're concerned about having your strap cut, you could go with one of the several brands (e.g. Sun Sniper) that offer straps with steel cables running through.  Apply common sense and an awareness of your surroundings - a common method of pickpocketing DSLR users is to detach the lens from the camera if it's hanging from your strap at your side/back. You can prevent this by keeping a hand on your lens when it's at your side. Avoid the 'tourist look' i.e. camera hanging around your neck touching your belly with "Canon 5D Mark II" written in big letters on the strap. Ditch the branded strap and go for something less conspicuous (I'm a fan of the BlackRapid RS-4 - not really for the reasons I just mentioned but for comfort and practicality). If you're carrying a tripod you look more familiar with the area and more professional, too.

For the record, please don't cover your equipment in petroleum jelly.  :D

Thanks for your input. Hadn't thought of the 'lens detachment' method of stealing yet. Good to realise that possibility.

I had already heard of the Sun-sniper straps, they seem nice (even if not for the cutting risk itself, it's a useful thing to have with a heavy camera).
Another useful thing could be to use a camera bag that doesn't look like one, to not draw attention. Of course, that only helps when you're not shooting.

unruled

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Re: The best ways to (not) get your gear stolen
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2012, 04:13:10 PM »
most theft is opportunist behaviour, also remember the weakest ljnk.. Ie. Not much point to worrying over your gear if you carry a wallet in your back pocket..

then again I don't own L glass. If my kit gets stolen, sucks for the images losts. My gear is insured and not worth much.

well_dunno

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Re: The best ways to (not) get your gear stolen
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2012, 04:19:24 PM »
a medium size axe hanging from your belt?  ;D

neuroanatomist

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Re: The best ways to (not) get your gear stolen
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2012, 04:27:11 PM »
Of course I know that I can get insurance for it, and I probably will.

No 'probably' about it - get insurance.  If a thief wants to take something, they will. I pay $7.60 per year per $1K covered gear.  Low cost for piece of mind...
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sheedoe

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Re: The best ways to (not) get your gear stolen
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2012, 05:27:51 PM »
In addition to all the precautions talked about here, I would suggest a messenger type bag to carry your gear so you don't attract unnecessary attention. Just take your camera out of the bag when taking the shot, then put it back in and move on. I have one of these and it fits my 5D mark II, 24-70mm lens and a 580EX II speedlight.

http://www.amazon.com/Lowepro-Exchange-Messenger-Essentials-Black/dp/B0035548TQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327789375&sr=8-1
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 05:30:57 PM by sheedoe »
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pakosouthpark

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Re: The best ways to (not) get your gear stolen
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2012, 05:52:29 PM »
Of course I know that I can get insurance for it, and I probably will.

No 'probably' about it - get insurance.  If a thief wants to take something, they will. I pay $7.60 per year per $1K covered gear.  Low cost for piece of mind...

what company did you get insurance with?

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Re: The best ways to (not) get your gear stolen
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2012, 05:52:29 PM »

sposh

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Re: The best ways to (not) get your gear stolen
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2012, 06:10:39 PM »
That sounds mighty cheap insurance. Doesn't it have a catch?

Recently I had my car brolen into and virtually all my gear, apart from camera & main lens, was stolen. Luckily not too expensive (speedlight, 70-300, filters, odds 'n ends) as I'm just starting out in this racket, but now I'm going up the ladder pricewise I want to be covered.

I live in Spain and insurance seems thin on the ground - around 70/1k and I haven't even looked at the devaluation clauses. UK doesn't look much better - was thinking of getting EU coverage but I don't know if I need to be a UK resident.

neuroanatomist

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Re: The best ways to (not) get your gear stolen
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2012, 07:30:51 PM »
Of course I know that I can get insurance for it, and I probably will.

No 'probably' about it - get insurance.  If a thief wants to take something, they will. I pay $7.60 per year per $1K covered gear.  Low cost for piece of mind...

what company did you get insurance with?

State Farm, they call it a Personal Articles policy.

That sounds mighty cheap insurance. Doesn't it have a catch?

Not as such. No deductible, full replacement value, coverage worldwide, covers loss due to theft, loss, accidentally dropping gear off a cliff, etc.  The catch, if you want to call it that, is that claims are reported to the same national database (called the CLUE database) that's used for homeowners/renters policies.  That means if you file too many claims, it can impact you rates and even eligibility for home/renters insurance.  Practically, that means if I break a Speedlite, I'll pay for it myself, but if I have a body and a few lenses stolen, I'll file a claim.
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Re: The best ways to (not) get your gear stolen
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2012, 07:30:51 PM »