Never leave your camera in the trunk of your car.

Started 2 months ago | Discussions
Bernard Pirenne Regular Member • Posts: 405
Never leave your camera in the trunk of your car.
6

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

Bernard

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Skeeterbytes Forum Pro • Posts: 19,830
Re: Never leave your camera in the trunk of your car.
2

Wow, sorry to hear. I don't understand what tech can effectively peer inside a steel box (car trunk) but it's interesting to learn about. Something to ponder (in addition to the hot temps we get here, which are not loved by camera gear).

Good luck on the replacement!

Rick

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meow
meow Senior Member • Posts: 2,847
Re: Never leave your camera in the trunk of your car.

My condolences. Hope your insurance covers it.

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softmarmotte
softmarmotte Veteran Member • Posts: 3,471
Re: Never leave your camera in the trunk of your car.

That's never a nice experience and I hope you are well insured

No you are right you should never leave valuables in a car. I assume you had a hire car or were with foreign plates. this is generally how thieves operate. They don't have anything technical, nor are they masked in general. They are generally eastern European or North African and are part of gangs that 'work' in Belgium, Luxembourg and France for a month at a time before being rotated back 'home'. Even if they are caught (virtually no chance) they are unlikely to be imprisoned and so carry on for the rest of the month. They are not concerned about being caught on camera. If they are imprisoned they serve their short sentences and carry on as before

My car was 'attacked' yet again parked in front of my place of work in Brussels. I never leave anything in it. It's just inconvenient to have to replace another window and takes a week to get this done

Only around 50% of prisoners in Belgium jails are Belgian. The rest are in descending order : Moroccan, Algerian and Romanian, then small amounts of other European nationals

Be aware in urban areas in Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Germany, petty crime - car breaking in and bag snatching is common. There is very little violent crime

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Craig from Nevada
Craig from Nevada Veteran Member • Posts: 9,447
Re: Never leave your camera in the trunk of your car.

Not nice at all.  I hope the gear was insured.

Thank you for the advice.

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

Bernard

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fourthirdcam Forum Member • Posts: 94
Re: Never leave your camera in the trunk of your car.
3

Years ago I had my camera gear stolen out of the back of an under-cover police car.

Insurance had a pretty good laugh with that one.

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SeldomFocused
SeldomFocused Regular Member • Posts: 214
Re: Never leave your camera in the trunk of your car.
1

What a terrible thing to have happen!  Agree about the insurance - hope you are covered.

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Patrick H Lockwood Contributing Member • Posts: 610
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

Bernard

That's too bad.  When I travel,  I bring only my cheap Elan SLR and non pro lenses, film.  If they are stolen, the loss is minimal.

sirhawkeye64 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,558
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

Bernard

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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Dan Veteran Member • Posts: 3,954
Re: Never leave your camera in the trunk of your car.

Sorry this happened to you...criminals are from everywhere and seems more and more places are just letting these things go on.  Bigger fish to fry I guess...though at some point going to have to be some changes?

Second and tripling on the hope it was insured.

Dan

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