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Thread: Stolen Alpa Gear:

  1. #1
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Stolen Alpa Gear:

    I thought I might socialize some details of my recently stolen Alpa gear that occured in the SF Bay Area on Nov 15th. Smash and grab as I saw them in Emeryville CA.

    The following are the items and serial numbers that matter. Should you see them on eBay or locally being sold in a pawn store or otherwise perhaps you could let me and the Emeryville PD know:

    Alpa 12 STC Body & Wooden Grip 0150760
    Alpa 12 TC 0170943
    Alpa Rodenstock HR Digaron-W 4/32 mm *SB17 lens 12101594
    Alpa Rodenstock HR Digaron-W 5.6/90 mm *SB34 lens 11972624
    Alpa Schneider Apo-Digitar 5.6/150 N *SB34 lens 15009613
    Luckily I have insurance but it'll never quite cover the loss of the other ancillary items that also disappeared in the stolen Alpa bag. They also stole another bag with Actus Mini and A7RII but ultimately it's only the Alpa lenses that piss me off. Luckily the perps didn't get to all items in the trunk of my car and so ended up with just dirty laundry and the couple of F-Stop bags with camera gear - my other bags with Cambo Actus DB+ and IQ150 DB were overlooked. Ditto my Sony RX1R bag.

    Fortunately it's insured but the inconvenience and likely partial payout are irritating as you can imagine.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 20th November 2015 at 23:45.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    That is absolutely terrible Graham! I really hope it will be recovered undamaged or atleast solved moneywise by insurance. But the hassle...omg.

    Yet another reminder to never leave anything in a car unattended! I rule I go by and never bring more than I can carry.

    I wish you the best...
    Alpa FPS • MAX • TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 • Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Thanks Dan,

    I parked in a well lit busy parking area outside a restaurant away from dark dodgy city center locations. I deliberately took out my travel laptop bag with MBPs (2) and also my passport and immigration information. I NEVER leave this in the car. I also covered up the bags in the bag of the car with the trunk/rear seats folded down because I had too much stuff. I was obviously the mark. It was a well lit, busy parking lot and the only reason why I stopped there.

    They were parked in the lot and obviously watched me leave with my gear and cover the other stuff and within 10 minutes (when I returned from the rest room) they were in the process of stealing my stuff. We approached them but they tried to run us down in their SUV.

    It happens to everyone eventually. Nobody got hurt forunately although I was homicidal at the time, especially as I saw the scumbags doing the theft. Insurance is your friend and socializing the issue is quite therapeutic too actually.

    Be careful out there and it's worth paying the insurance premiums!

    Graham
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Senior Member Pemihan's Avatar
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    That's horrible Graham, I so sorry to hear that. ****ing *** holes!!!
    I hope this gets resolved quickly, either by you getting the gear back or a trouble free insurance payout.

    Best
    Peter
    Last edited by Pemihan; 21st November 2015 at 01:33.
    Peter
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Thanks - it's just stuff but I agree with your sentiments. Karma is my fall back and hopefully the scumbags get theirs ...
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Graham I'm so sorry to hear that. Gear can be replaced, insurance is a great thing...it's the feeling that it leaves that takes time to go away.
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Thanks Dan,

    I parked in a well lit busy parking area outside a restaurant away from dark dodgy city center locations. I deliberately took out my travel laptop bag with MBPs (2) and also my passport and immigration information. I NEVER leave this in the car. I also covered up the bags in the bag of the car with the trunk/rear seats folded down because I had too much stuff. I was obviously the mark. It was a well lit, busy parking lot and the only reason why I stopped there.

    They were parked in the lot and obviously watched me leave with my gear and cover the other stuff and within 10 minutes (when I returned from the rest room) they were in the process of stealing my stuff. We approached them but they tried to run us down in their SUV.

    It happens to everyone eventually. Nobody got hurt forunately although I was homicidal at the time, especially as I saw the scumbags doing the theft. Insurance is your friend and socializing the issue is quite therapeutic too actually.

    Be careful out there and it's worth paying the insurance premiums!

    Graham
    Sorry to hear about such terrible things! It's hard to believe that they target Alpa gear... Which country was that? It's perhaps safer to use Sony instead!
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    condolences;i also had a car break-in last year in SF right on the embarcadero; lost some oly gear. later was told the bay area is rampant with car thefts

    sorry for your loss graham, the violation, the pia, the so personal reminder of how base two bit thugs can be
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Thanks Dan,

    I parked in a well lit busy parking area outside a restaurant away from dark dodgy city center locations. I deliberately took out my travel laptop bag with MBPs (2) and also my passport and immigration information. I NEVER leave this in the car. I also covered up the bags in the bag of the car with the trunk/rear seats folded down because I had too much stuff. I was obviously the mark. It was a well lit, busy parking lot and the only reason why I stopped there.

    They were parked in the lot and obviously watched me leave with my gear and cover the other stuff and within 10 minutes (when I returned from the rest room) they were in the process of stealing my stuff. We approached them but they tried to run us down in their SUV.

    It happens to everyone eventually. Nobody got hurt forunately although I was homicidal at the time, especially as I saw the scumbags doing the theft. Insurance is your friend and socializing the issue is quite therapeutic too actually.

    Be careful out there and it's worth paying the insurance premiums!

    Graham
    Also I read somewhere that some perps prowl know photo spots and then follow their mark until they leave their vehicle unattended with the gear inside. I mean, no perp is that lucky to stumble upon $$$$ photo gear by randomly smash and grabbing cars. What are the odds? Since you actually saw the vehicle they were in and I am pretty sure they got photographed by a traffic or security camera if not right in the vicinity where the incident happened en route from where you last were they can be identified no problem. It is possible they followed you.
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    This is horrible . The scary thing it could have been a photographer in your same location you where shooting earlier in the day and followed you. Scumbags but you do carry too much gear around with you. I know not what you want to hear but I said it in the past.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    by way of example, hopefully to make us all more aware...
    had my trunk broken into at Pearl Harbor. parked in the official lot, about 50' from the attendant's booth. because of security, you can't bring any bags into the memorial. of course our next stop was the airport, so we had all our belongings. i did carry in my M8.

    apparently thugs look at the parking lot with binoculars to see who locks stuff in their trunk. they got a suitcase and personal things, wife's jewelry, etc.

    later the rental car agency told us "oh yeah, break-ins happens all over honolulu , don't leave anything in the car"

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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Lowlife scumbags. Good no one was hurt. My advice to anyone is keep a small GPS tracker in your bag. These are readily available for not much money (compared to the price of your gear), e.g. TrackR ($30 for one tag - but uses other users to triangulate, not true GPS) or just Google 'GPS Asset Tracking'. By the time the scrotes get to a place where they figure out what’s in your bag, hopefully the cops will be there. Best thing is to hide it in your bag inside something worth taking - e.g. a cheap portable hard drive case. By the time they can test it, hopefully the cops will be breaking down the door. N.B. Do not try and recover any gear yourself - there have been a number of incidents of folks trying to recover their stolen iPhones using tracking apps which have ended in tragedy.
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    I'm sorry to hear this happened to you Graham. Good that you have insurance, but this will still leave a bitter taste. My first slr (Spotmatic)and lenses were stolen from my VW bus by a smash and grab thief. I too had insurance and used the payment to get a Pentax LX and although it was certainly an upgrade, I still resent the SOB who stole my equipment.

    Tom
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Sorry to hear about this Graham. I hate thieves and stuff like this.
    Glad you are alright. I don't go to San Francisco anymore, its sad cause I used to love it....
    Insurance will probably pay out but its going to be a hassle and your trip is ruined...sucks.

    I am interested in what insurance you have on camera gear like that, and more importantly, now that the chips are down, how they handle your claim.

    Many of us have special insurance on our very expensive gear, but few can comment on how they pay out when needed (fortunately and un-fortunately). I spend a lot of time going over the policies and equipment lists with my agent, but I just don't know...
    Will be interested to hear how that goes for you.
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Awefull...hope you can get the insurance company sorted and off to shooting soon.

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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    I believe alpa maintains a list of stolen kit. It might be worth checking and getting all your serial numbers listed there. Alpa is so specialised that there is a greater chance that a future buyer identifies that it has been stolen. Fingers crossed.

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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Graham,
    A friend experienced similar recently in Emeryville.
    Whereabouts were you photographing prior to parking?
    Billy

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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    I feel your pain, and a deep sense of injustice. I wish we had video everywhere, so bad guys would always be caught. I have some of the same Alpa gear you have. If it was taken, I think it is only insured for used value replacement. Do most people insure for full value?

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Quote Originally Posted by BJNY View Post
    Graham,
    A friend experienced similar recently in Emeryville.
    Whereabouts were you photographing prior to parking?
    Billy
    I wasn't shooting at all. Driving to the Bay Area for work and stopped at Chevy's restaurant on Powell St by the bay for dinner so parked in a well lit busy parking lot. Took out my laptop bag and brought that in with me but apparently the thieves were waiting in the parking lot. I changed my mind about eating there and came out and the security guy in the parking lot and I saw them grabbing a couple of bags off my folded down rear seat. Unfortunately one was my rucksack with the Alpa in it and another with the Sony. Also they got my dirty laundry from an overnight bag. The other bag with my actus db+ and MFDB were out of reach.

    im very careful about where I park and never leave things in the car unattended if I can or out of sight. I took in what I could carry (laptop bag) but it's not practical to bring in everything.

    in my case it was simply a case of an expensive car in what turns out to be a common targeted car theft location. They wait for a mark and then strike and drive off for the freeway immediately. The security guy and I were almost hit by the white Escalade gunning it out of the parking lot. I wasn't targeted as a photographer and they would have not known what they were getting in the bags they grabbed when they broke the side window. I guess they knew there was something because I took out my laptop bag and cover the rear folded down seat with a jacket.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    what is also pissy about this is that those thieves have no idea what they got, and if they did, they would have realized the re-sale market is practically zero for hot alpas. which means all that beautiful gear will get dumped

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Quote Originally Posted by 6x6 View Post
    I believe alpa maintains a list of stolen kit. It might be worth checking and getting all your serial numbers listed there. Alpa is so specialised that there is a greater chance that a future buyer identifies that it has been stolen. Fingers crossed.
    Yes, I already did this plus emailed all of the Alpa dealers and also Bay Area photo dealers with the serial numbers. Alpa's list is down on the web site but they are in the process of bringing it back.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    what is also pissy about this is that those thieves have no idea what they got, and if they did, they would have realized the re-sale market is practically zero for hot alpas. which means all that beautiful gear will get dumped
    My thoughts too. The only easily sellable item was the a7rII and 24-240 that was in the 2nd bag. Other than that they got nothing of value for the average car thief.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    I wasn't shooting at all. Driving to the Bay Area for work and stopped at Chevy's restaurant on Powell St by the bay for dinner so parked in a well lit busy parking lot. Took out my laptop bag and brought that in with me but apparently the thieves were waiting in the parking lot. I changed my mind about eating there and came out and the security guy in the parking lot and I saw them grabbing a couple of bags off my folded down rear seat. Unfortunately one was my rucksack with the Alpa in it and another with the Sony. Also they got my dirty laundry from an overnight bag. The other bag with my actus db+ and MFDB were out of reach.

    im very careful about where I park and never leave things in the car unattended if I can or out of sight. I took in what I could carry (laptop bag) but it's not practical to bring in everything.

    in my case it was simply a case of an expensive car in what turns out to be a common targeted car theft location. They wait for a mark and then strike and drive off for the freeway immediately. The security guy and I were almost hit by the white Escalade gunning it out of the parking lot. I wasn't targeted as a photographer and they would have not known what they were getting in the bags they grabbed when they broke the side window. I guess they knew there was something because I took out my laptop bag and cover the rear folded down seat with a jacket.
    Thanks for the details, Graham.

    Glad you weren't followed, and that you're alright.

    Billy
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    maybe part of the photo kit should be a nasty dog with big fangs
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    If police departments were truly interested in helping us, they could easily set up a sting operation to catch such thugs. Or they could be carefully watching from a hidden location places that are known to be a common targeted car theft location. *It seems they don't actually try.

    They prefer to give tickets.
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Sucks Graham. I know what you're feeling. Back in June I had my Think Tank Logistics Manager and a couple other bags stolen . I had gotten home late and was tired, so I grabbed my F-stop gear back pack ( THANK GOD! ) that was in the front seat which had my entire Phase One kit and 4 lens's, locked the car, in my driveway, and was going to come back out in a few to grab the rest of the stuff. Needless to say, I popped open a brew sat down and processed the days work and forgot all about it. The thieves nabbed the big bag which had Nikon, Broncolor gear worth just north of 30K. The police said most likely kids and they work a neighborhood checking door locks and popping locks. I did find out the policy I have had a couple of special riders that covered like 5K in additional items that I lost that were not on my policy.

    I hope all works out for you. That feeling of violation is horrible and really never goes away though the check will help.

    All the Best

    Don
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    Senior Member darr's Avatar
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    My condolences Graham. I hope for the best possible outcome.

    Best,
    Darr
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Terrible news. And near my workspace/studio, so it hits close to home.

    I looked on SF Bay Area Craigslist, and no Alpa gear has been posted there. But sophisticated thieves would sell it in LA, on the opposite coast, or abroad.

    Kirk
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Awfully sorry to hear this, Graham.

    I remember how personally violated I felt when standing at a 12th floor window in SFO and seeing thieves break into my rental car parked right below me on the street. I was powerless to do anything but watch and wish I had a rifle. They stole my Mamiya 1000 and a bunch of lenses, and worst of all, all the film I had shot of surfing competitions in Hawaii. The gear was insured but the week of shooting was completely lost. I couldn't sleep for several nights.

    Today I carry my exposed CF cards in my wallet!

    Looking on the bright side, as others have said, there was no personal (physical) injury. The rest was stuff, and stuff is replaceable. But I feel for you nonetheless.
    Bill CB

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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    So sorry to hear of your loss, Graham. However, your loss has made me make an urgent update to the equipment list on my insurance policy. Indeed I've been lazy in not updating the list. Guys, when is the last time you updated your equipment list for your insurance coverage?
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Scumbags but you do carry too much gear around with you.
    +1, sucks but way too much gear.

    I learned that lesson the hard way too when I lived in sucky-a$$ California, got cased / followed twice in three years in the early 90's, popped once for 5K of spare gear and the next time for over 15K.

    I just got done re-doing my insurance, between cameras, darkroom, computer gear and a massive stockpile of film, I am at close to 140K to insure.

    I have been to SF many times, but like NYC, LA, Paris or any other destination, I always go super light, better photos and less stress every single time. The last two times I did a shoot in S.F. for a magazine article, I just had a Hasselblad 501CM, 60 CF and 100CF, two backs in the most nasty looking old Dome you would ever want to wash. Last Spring a trip to Costa Rica with an FM3A, F3, 28, 50, 105 and a X100T as a backup in the same biohazard looking bag. No issues with either trip and fantastic photos.
    Last edited by Ai_Print; 22nd November 2015 at 11:49.

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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ai_Print View Post
    +1, sucks but way too much gear.
    Well I think that's all a matter of perspective. I had one medium format bag with my Alpa lenses in it primarily and an Actus DB that I intended to shoot in another hidden in the back of the trunk with the IQ back in it. The other bag had a Sony A7RII and Actus mini as backup and a zoom lens. The small RX1R bag is always in the car or what I'll take with me on a business trip.

    Since this is a road trip for two weeks I wanted to shoot with the a7RII and the Actus Mini at some point.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    you should see what each vehicle is carrying in one of the pigs gigs in carmel
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Catching up on all this. Sorry to hear about this Graham.

    I used to work right off Hollis in Emeryville. We had a service van that got broken into 3 times in 2 months. We finally sold the thing because we couldn't park it anywhere!

    Dave
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    THIS looks like a good idea...

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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    One of the forum / workshop members has this installed in his truck and it is indeed pretty awesome. In addition to having to get into the tailgate of the truck, you then need to get into these solid drawers that are equipped with combination locks. Looks pretty darn secure to me!!!
    Bryan

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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Sorry to hear that. I've made it a rule to put camera gear in the trunk when I start the day's journey, so that I won't have to do it when stopping for a break somewhere, since there's always a chance somebody will be watching then.

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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Truck vault does look great but 😝$2grand
    Problem with trunks is you can pop them open with a release once inside most cars

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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    What do you think about establishing a new Forum here for listing stolen items, their descriptions, where and when stolen and serial numbers? I think it could be a valuable resource for camera stores, repair shops, law enforcement, insurance companies and of course individuals.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    Truck vault does look great but ��$2grand
    Problem with trunks is you can pop them open with a release once inside most cars
    I have a number of colleagues who've lost laptop bags due to being watched putting them into the trunk. As John mentions, the scumbags watch and wait and then break in and pop the trunk from inside.

    The truck vault is fine in theory so long as you are prepared to dedicate your trunk to just this purpose. I have a 2015 Range Rover Sport Autobiography and if I put one in the back I would still have to store travel bags inside the cabin as the trunk area isn't that large. If I wanted to leave gear in the back overnight then I can see the value and indeed if I still had my Land Rover LR3 then the utility would have been worth it. With my RRS I would also be unable to get to the spare wheel either with a vault fitted. (there is no vault lift option for RRS - I'd already asked them).
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

  41. #41
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Maybe a lockable wire cage for the entire back area like one of those dog kennels
    And a sign on the car so they don't break your window, also a pia

  42. #42
    Senior Member Jamgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Graham when you said "So having been liberated of my Alpa and lenses..." in the other thread, I did not really understand the context. Now I know. This is terrible.

    Really sorry for your loss. All the best to you in assembling an awesome replacement kit.
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Pieter Hugo was telling a tale of coming back from a long shoot abroad to his home in Capetown. He was stopped and inspected for Carnet's etc by customs, but of course let through as all was in order. Drove home, secured his gear in his house and went out to get some food. Robbed immediately. Everything gone. He thinks the customs agents followed him home and broke in. Window was cut open professionally.

    He was most upset about loosing the CF cards and the entire shoot of a many weeks work. A good artist too, so we all lost out on that one.
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  44. #44
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Dear Graham, sorry to hear your lost, it's absolutely terrible and would be a nightmare to photographer like us. Thanks for sharing it reminds me to keep my gears safe as I always go places with heavy gears too.
    Leica | Angenieux | Alpa | Hasselblad | Phase One
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  45. #45
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Graham, let me echo what so many before me have said. I am so sorry for your loss and know it feels like being violated. Years ago in midtown Manhattan, at the height of NY crime in that area, my truck was jimmied open and contents emptied out. All in broad daylight on a very busy street not far from the old B&H. I just came across this thread of yours.

    Any word since the initial incident? I'm just glad you weren't hurt as ones life is too value compared to any loss of camera equipment.

    Dave (D&A)
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    Re: Stolen Alpa Gear:

    Though of course it's really nasty to loose the gear - just be happy you survived unhurt (good chance that such gangsters have weapons with them...)! You can buy new camera, but no new life.

    I never travel with more than I can put in the trunk - but in my case (BMW 530i) trunk is bigger than all gear. Maybe you need different car? And the idea with this GPS-unit looks good - won't work in houses, but cheap and can help...

    Andreas

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