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Review of the service Stolen Camera Finder!


Mattias Burling
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Yeah its been mentioned in media and on blogs from time to time. But still I think a lot of people don't know or remember the site exists.
Thats why I decided to spread the word. I would love for it to be common practice to always post serial numbers on eBay etc so everyone can checkout. 

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Well done for your diligence and honesty Mattias.

I bet the original owner is a thrilled as he was stunned to hear from you.

Talking of things that might have been stolen.....

I was looking for JVC LS300 videos and this one popped up.

Is this you or has it been appropriated?

If it actually IS JVC then their subscriber count might explain a bit about why they haven't had much success marketing it !!

 

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14 minutes ago, Mattias Burling said:

Yeah its been mentioned in media and on blogs from time to time. But still I think a lot of people don't know or remember the site exists.
Thats why I decided to spread the word. I would love for it to be common practice to always post serial numbers on eBay etc so everyone can checkout. 

Excellent thread and your admirable response upon  discovering the camera was stolen...I somehow doubt eBay is interested in this (insisting on serial numbers of items being listed) as it would cut into their bottom line!...still, will they not cover your purchase under their purchase secure policy...I mean stolen is stolen...regardless of whether you discovered this after 3 days or 3 weeks...one would think a multi billion dollar corporation who makes their money, based on the reputation of the "safety guaranteed" deal, would reward your honesty  by first contacting the seller, and in the absence of that yielding results, Ebay ought to refund you!

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3 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

 

If it actually IS JVC then their subscriber count might explain a bit about why they haven't had much success marketing it !!

 

Im pretty sure thats not JVC :)
I will report it, youtube usually removes stolen videos very fast, thanks for letting me know.

3 hours ago, Fritz Pierre said:

Excellent thread and your admirable response upon  discovering the camera was stolen...I somehow doubt eBay is interested in this (insisting on serial numbers of items being listed) as it would cut into their bottom line!...still, will they not cover your purchase under their purchase secure policy...I mean stolen is stolen...regardless of whether you discovered this after 3 days or 3 weeks...one would think a multi billion dollar corporation who makes their money, based on the reputation of the "safety guaranteed" deal, would reward your honesty  by first contacting the seller, and in the absence of that yielding results, Ebay ought to refund you!

Ebay will probably just tell me to file a police report about the seller who most likely isn't the original thief either.
I will contact the seller to let him know and see what he says. 

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6 hours ago, Mattias Burling said:

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.

http://www.stolencamerafinder.com/

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 I got home that I remembered that I should just do 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 imbedded 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:

  • Find a stolen camera
  • Report a found camera
  • Checkout previous owners of 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 probably wont pay up and/or used a fake name etc. 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 :)

(now back to searching for a new Leica T, like its slogan says, "Easy to use, Hard to forget".)

I had never heard of this webiste before, thank you. If the seller doesn't refund you, contact Ebay and they almost certainly will.

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Very good!

Out of curiosity does the serial number come up as stolen anywhere?    

If not that seems a bit about face that you have to take a pic with it to check it is stolen after purchase.

As for the original owner, if they had insurance, I hope they will be as honest and tell the insurance company!

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7 hours ago, noone said:

Out of curiosity does the serial number come up as stolen anywhere?    

You can enter the serialnumber manually. No need to take a pic.

3 hours ago, Viet Bach Bui said:

Would you have done the same if it had been a Leica M9? Or something even more expensive? I suppose for everyone there is a point where the financial loss is unbearable just to return a lost item you paid for with your own money.

Easy to say but I hope so. If it was something very expensive I guess it would  instead strengthen my tenacity to track who originally stole it.

All I felth was that it wasn't the original owners fault. He has done absolutely nothing wrong. I could have done more research. 

Also it would be a crime (litterally) for me to keep it, use it or sell it. I dont want to be the criminal in this story :)

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Update 07-04-17

Sad day in Sweden today (now its ok for you to speak about Sweden Mr Trump, but please don't...) but at least the story of the stolen Leica came to a somewhat happy ending.

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!

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