Review of the service Stolen Camera Finder! – Update, Happy Ending

When you buy and sell used camera gear  you need to be careful. A lot of stolen stuff floats around and markets like eBay makes it easy for them to disappear. That’s why a service like Stolen Camera Finder is a godsend.

I recently bought a Leica T. A lovely camera. For street shooting I would say its the best camera I’ve ever used. Totally in love!
But this is not about the camera.

leicaywllow

The price was fine, the seller had a long history, everything seemed legit. He even provided the serial number.

When I got it home I tested it out and everything was fine. The day after I had to leave for a tripp and I naturally brought the camera.
It was not until a while after I got home that I remembered that I never did a routine check of the number on Stolen Camera Finder.

Why I didn’t do this beforehand, like I usually do is beyond me…

stolen

Stolen Camera Finder works by crawling the internet and sites like Flickr, registering EXIF Data.
In many cameras the unique serial number of the camera and lens are embedded in the data. You then simply drag-n-drop an image on the site or enter the number manually. If the crawler gets a match its BINGO!

You can also use it to find stolen images or you can simply report your camera stolen or subscribe for email alerts if it ever turns up.

You can:

  • Find a stolen camera
  • Report a found camera
  • Checkout previous owners of a camera
  • Track stolen and reposted images

So What Happened?

I entered the number manually and… Bingo!
It had been reported stolen in Spain two years ago. So I filed a report of a “Camera Found” and waited for a day or two. Since I didn’t hear anything I contacted Matt, who runs the site.

He has now put me in touch with the original owner who lives in Italy and we are working out the details on how it will be returned!

All in all I will probably loose a bit of money since the seller most likely wont pay up.
Its to bad since I really love that camera and won’t afford another one for a while.
But I will certainly gain a bit on my “Feel Good Account”.

And at the end of the day, I would love it if the same thing happened to me if anything ever got stolen.

A bit of a sunshine story imo :)

Update 07-04-17

Yesterday I received a selfie from the original owner with the camera and he seems very happy. He then not only reimbursed me for the shipping but also a pretty healthy percentage of what I lost. Im not gonna talk numbers here but it was a very reasonable finders fee.

He is happy, Matt from stolencamerafinder.com is happy, Im happy.
In other words a happy ending to a sad story!

/M

  • User

    Wow, faith in humanity restored!
    tbh, I don’t think I could justify giving a camera back which I started to love and paid this amount of money (studying and being short on money though). Really lovely to do this.

    • Mattias Burling

      It would be illegal to keep it. Rather be a poor student than a criminal with a camera :)

  • Henrik von Martens

    Bra gjort! Visste inte ens att man kunde checka sånt där. Bra tips att minnas…

    • Mattias Burling

      Ja det är nog smart att alltid kolla. Den kan fortfarande vara stulen, men då har du iallafall försökt.
      /M

  • Techie Tiger

    Yes you even made me happy with this positive story! Good for you and thanks for your honesty.