Never leave your camera in the trunk of your car.

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
sirhawkeye64 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,575
Re: Never leave your camera in the trunk of your car.

Bernard Pirenne wrote:

Hello all,

After a long trip we parked our BMW X3 in a parking from a nice hotel in Waterloo (Belgium) . Parking was controlled with cameras . Waterloo is a very nice small town close to Brussels.

Went walking to a restaurant at 100 meters. Came back at 9pm and went into the hotel room. It was still daylight. At 9.15 pm hotel called me telling me my car had been attacked. Rear windshield broken and camera and luggage in the trunk gone.

We went to the police. Robberies of this kind are common. We had left nothing visible inside the car, but police told us that pro- robbers are equipped with laser detectors that can determine if a trunk has a computer or a camera even though it is not visible...

I lost an brand new Olympus OMD EM1 Mark III, and lenses 12-40 F2.8 PRO and

7-14 F2.8 PRO plus luggage full of my wife personal belongings...

I hope this bad experience will profit members of this forum.

Police said professional robbers come from other countries. They have lasers detectors, false plates on their cars and they wear a black cover ont their face (cowl) and they do not care about cameras ... Police said : " we see nothing of their face and plate numbers are false. The Hotel is near a highway and in one hour they are out of Belgium. They are very difficult to catch. We will inspect the videos but we know we will not be able to indentify them or their cars..."

Be carefull and never again leave your cameras in the trunk of your car.

Regards to all


That's really unfortunate and I feel bad this happened to you. I mean we read about it and generally think "It probably won't happen to me."

I always take my cameras and lenses in with me (inside--whether at home or into the hotel). Tripods and other accessories (sometimes lighting equipment) I'll leave in the car as that stuff (At least my lighting equipment )isn't that expensive and if it gets stolen, it's be a sad day, but not as bad as if a camera and/or lenses gets stolen. The only exception to this is that at the hotel, I will put them into my rolling bag and lock the bag (don't leave camera gear or computer stuff sitting out in your hotel room when you're not there). Never had a problem but not worth the risk either.

Buy small luggage locks, but get the non-TSA approved ones (ones that don't have the small hole in them) so its harder for some random person to open them (since you can buy the TSA master keys online). This won't stop a thief but it will make it that much harder to get into your locked bag. I do this only for when I'm out of the airport (since TSA will cut off non-approved locks, so don't use them during your travels to your destination if you're flying, just when you are outside the airport).  Of course, you shouldn't be checking your camera gear anyway if at all possible.

This suggestion of not leaving your camera gear in your car also applies to at home, especially if you don't have a garage, and even if you do, I'd still bring it inside.

Also, when out shooting, I try to not leave anything in the car. When I pack my bag for the day (when on a "photography" trip) I tend to only bring what I am going to carry and leave nothing in the car, except maybe the tripod or a light stand if I don't need it that day, but never a camera or lenses. The one time I had to leave a lens in a car, I put it in the glove box and locked it so at least it was out of sight.

Another good tip is to NOT pack or prep your gear when you get to location. Find some place enroute where you can pull off and do that, and then when you get on location ,just get out and go. Same for when you come back to the hotel for the day. (Obviously if I'm on location, and I'm leaving, I may take a minute and put my camera back in the bag but I try to make this quick and then leave. The less people see, the better.

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