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.
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 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.
- 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
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!