Over $200K in Leica gear stolen from Scottish camera store Ffordes
|Image of the Leica cabinets the equipment was stolen from, provided by Ffordes|
Ffordes, a camera store in northern Scotland, was the target of what's believed to be a professional burglary that's left the store more than $200,000 in missing Leica equipment.
On Wednesday, September 26th, the alarm at Ffordes went off. Both the police and a member of the Fforde team alerted management, who quickly arrived on scene. Upon arriving at the shop, it was clear there had been a break-in. One of the front windows had been broken into and a secondary protection window was also removed. Once inside, it was discovered just how much was stolen.
'From the CCTV footage, the thieves were very well prepared, not just for removing the safety window units but timing,' said Fforde manager Alister Bowie, in an email to DPReview. 'They were in and out in under 10 minutes. They went directly to the cabinets with the most expensive equipment inside [passing two other cabinets], broke the doors down and started filling the bags that they had taken in with them. [They were] all suited up and covered [but some] made mistakes and Police are looking over this at the moment. Out of the 12 shelves they only took from 9 of them — the most expensive items and the easiest to sell — they knew what they were looking for.'
Not only was the burglary quick, it was also meticulously planned. According to Bowie, the burglars had been scoping out the location for week and even went so far as to dismantle the street lights and flood lights outside the building. The vehicle believed to be used as a spotter and getaway car was parked 250 yards down the road. Ffordes says authorities are currently combing through both internal and external security footage in an attempt to find out more information.
Bowie says Ffordes has already submitted all of the information it has to the appropriate authorities and will soon release more details, pictures and videos of the burglary in hopes of catching the perpetrators.
Leica Germany has been notified and currently has all of the items re-registered as stolen. Leica dealers around the globe have also been notified and will be keeping en eye out for the stolen gear.
Ffordes has also started a massive social media campaign in an effort to track down the missing gear. Ffordes 'honestly believes the equipment would be shipped abroad within 12 hours of it being stolen,' but still has hope the gear will be recovered. Below is a full list of equipment that was taken, complete with serial numbers for verification.
If there's a shred of good news in this, it's that the gear was insured. Bowie says the insurance company is currently working on its own investigation and is expected to settle, albeit for far less than what Ffordes paid for the equipment.
If you have any information about the burglary or come across gear on the list, Ffordes asks that you connect with them via email or phone using information found on its contact page.
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