More and more of the big sporting and other events makes photographers to face smaller or bigger thefts. Signs show often other photographers may be the perpetrators. It is worth to stay alerted and take special care for your belongings.
In the recent days more photography websites (Fstoppers, CP24, stb) published the story of former Reuters news agency photographer Gary Hershorn. His long lens and attached camera was stolen together at the Pan American games while he turned in another direction. The scale of the theft of course drew the attention of police who are investigating with full power. They also publsihed the photo of the suspect to find him. The long distance from this event however doesn’t fade the moral of the story to be a warning for all. Thieves turn up their heads among us everywhere and none of the events are free from them. Experience tells especially on the last days of the longer, multiple day or event more weeks long events like an Olympics start to make belongings vanish. It never hurts to be always on alert and careful!
Fortunately I never experienced any serious loss this way and I really hope not to happen with me either. Many of my colleagues however complained over the years that this or that disappeared. I wrote about it on my blog (only on the Hungarian one yet) thieves are walking among us. Thefts can happen at great photo festivals, in photo studios as well and it is almost an everyday burden to have some valuables stolen form a car trunk. It cannot be emphasised enough never to leave your gear in the trunk.
It is however deeply saddening to hear things are stolen even in the press centres of the world’s largest and most prestigious sporting and other events. These places are usually full of colleagues working in the same profession. Of course as the community of photographers is becoming ever diluted and more people get a chance to get into the “elite circles” the security risk is also increasing. Among many other professional aspects this makes it especially important to have organisers filter applicants who can get an accreditation and of course to have an eye on that too who can enter these working areas and who may not. (Unfortunately I have been to some press centres where the VIP food catering was much more heavily guarded than the equipments of the photographers.) It is really important however to always watch out for your things. Rather don’t leave your gear scattered around and especially don’t leave important gear unattended. Whatever you can is better kept at arm’s reach and of course don’t forget to keep an updated list of the serial numbers!
Update: Sadly with time my post had a unpleasant actuality. During the 2015 Formula-1 Hungarian Grand Prix weekend another theft happened around me. Fortunately this time not a camera or lens got stolen from the press centre, “only” the hard case of a long lens got missing. This is however enough of a loss for the Hungarian photographer who holds the responsibility for his gear even if it is owned by his publication. (It could of course happen that someone only took it with him accidentally, but probably it would have been recognised and corrected during the weekend.)