Can't Let Your Guard Down...Camera Stuff in Vehicle.

Joined
Mar 8, 2009
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florida's east coast
After a morning session at Merritt Island, I drove to the Cocoa Beach Pier to surf and/or get some surf shots. I parked in a metered lot and took my D300 and lens (300/4) towards the beach for a quick look, leaving my bag and 1.4 tc in the truck. I've been around these beaches a long time, and one guy who was standing next to the parking lot just didn't look "right". I walked a short distance away and when I got into some trees I looked back just in time to see him walk by my truck and give the (locked) passenger side door handle a good pull. We call that "car hopping" and it's very popular with entry level criminals. I stepped out in the open, making sure he could see me and he took off running. Later, a local cop said they know the guy and he has warrants, they're surprised he's showing his face around the pier. Anyway, don't let your guard down...they're everywhere, always have been and sadly always will be.
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
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Rapid City, SD
Thanks for the reminder.. Here in South Dakota we become pretty complacent because the lack of thefts but you really just never know!
 
Joined
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Netherlands
After a morning session at Merritt Island, I drove to the Cocoa Beach Pier to surf and/or get some surf shots. I parked in a metered lot and took my D300 and lens (300/4) towards the beach for a quick look, leaving my bag and 1.4 tc in the truck. I've been around these beaches a long time, and one guy who was standing next to the parking lot just didn't look "right". I walked a short distance away and when I got into some trees I looked back just in time to see him walk by my truck and give the (locked) passenger side door handle a good pull. We call that "car hopping" and it's very popular with entry level criminals. I stepped out in the open, making sure he could see me and he took off running. Later, a local cop said they know the guy and he has warrants, they're surprised he's showing his face around the pier. Anyway, don't let your guard down...they're everywhere, always have been and sadly always will be.

I never leave any gear or stuff in my car... Atleast on public parking places. At work we have a closed lot which is covered with cameras.. I do dare to leave my board in then. Luckily at my lifeguard station where I work it's possible to store my board and photo gear when I'm off duty and I have the keys so it's a safe storage for me :).

Other tips: Leave every compartment/trunk open showing nothing of value. This way there isn't a reason for them to get in.
 
Joined
May 9, 2008
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houston tx
One other thing -- did you take a picture of him?
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
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arizona
I'm glad your story has a happy ending for you! We can never be too careful; thank you for the reminder!!!
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
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Location
Los Angeles, CA
Other tips: Leave every compartment/trunk open showing nothing of value. This way there isn't a reason for them to get in.

Excellent tip. My dad's car window was smashed because a bum wanted to take a quarter sitting on the cupholder. It was a $100 repair.

Another tip: Don't pull out your gear moments before parking or while parked at the parking lot. Someone could be waiting to rob you. Also...insure your gear!
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
2,228
Location
Broussard, LA, USA
It would have been a better story if you had taken a shot of him with his hand om the door handle.
But as a rule, you should ALWAYS act like someone wants to steal from you when away from home. Also, when you are not home, it is a good policy to act like someone wants to break in and steal there too. Locks and insurance.
 
Joined
May 14, 2009
Messages
1,516
Location
Georgia
The interior of my car always look like it was in a showroom. Nothing visible, everything that I transport is carried in the trunk unless I am traveling direct, then camera bags or on the back seat so that I do not have to open the trunk where I keep my emergency kit.

I find that if there is no temptation item (bag, money, gps) or indicator (ipod charger, GPS dock, etc) visible, then the chances of theft drop as there is always at least 1 car in the lot that has one of those things visible, guaranteeing that the owner has one of those items. GPS's tend to get taken off the dash and put in the center column, but if the charger is out, or the mount is on the dash, a thief will know you have one.
 
Joined
May 30, 2008
Messages
1,008
Location
SE PA
Glad it turned out OK. Timely post for me as we are driving to Florida today or Saturday. I was wondering if much of this goes on down there. Guess it's everywhere. While my gear is insured I do worry about my truck being broken into while in the parking lots while out photographing. I can't keep everything with me but I try to keep everything left in the truck out of sight. Question isn't am I paranoid but am I paranoid enough.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2013
Messages
755
Location
Sydney
my film camera was stolen with my camera bag. I am double careful now.
I also had another car break in . THis time with car alarm. Someone had scanned my
remote as I was locking the car . After I left. They came to my car and press another
remote to get into my car. They only stole small change in the car.

I am always very careful now. Glad it didnt happen to you.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2008
Messages
4,069
Location
Bellingham, WA
When I have my camera with me, I always take it with me if I go into a store or even into Starbucks to get a coffee. People can get into your car in seconds. My gear is insured, but replacing it would be a royal pain in the you know where. So it's safer if I take it with me. I'm ordering one of those Domke rolling bags so it will be even easier :)

Carole
 
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
3,972
Location
Chicago
Leave nothing visible in a car and better yet, keep it with you along with pepper spray or your Colt if if you have one.

Women like to leave their purse on the passenger seat. Perfect for smash and grab at lights and it happens all the time. Carry valuables in your pocket and save the purse for your makeup.

At home I leave old cameras out where they can be found, even one old Pentax that went thru a flood. The new stuff is well hidden in rooms that have concealed light switches. Thieves spend less than 5 minutes in a house.

Cash is left on the dresser. Be my guest and help yourself to $100. Just do not rip the place up. There is no more to find.

And your jewelry. The first place they go is the master bedroom. Absent a heavy non moveable safe, hide it somewhere else like above ceiling tiles in the basement or in a tissue box. My parents were robbed twice so I speak from experience. Moms good jewelry took weeks to find. And leave the costume stiff right where it can be found.

You want to appear poor, so drive a Chevy and not a Cadillac SUV. You get there just the same.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Messages
5,430
Location
florida's east coast
Originally Posted by web52 View Post
One other thing -- did you take a picture of him?

Just what I was thinking..come on man!! :smile:
Gary

Actually I did, but I prefer to shoot criminals with a different lens, usually at f/2.8. :smile: But seriously, the cops know the guy and so do many local surfers. If anyone wanted to see a photo of this guy just check the local booking photos. (But an "action" photo would've been cool.)
 

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