A week and a half ago from the 23-25th of August we went down to Forence OR, to our usual haunt Driftwood Shores resort, for a family reunion. We had a great time on the beach, I took photographs of the Heceta Head Lighthouse Saturday morning at sunrise as tradition dictated. Then Taunya and I spent the day on the beach and riding ATVs on the dunes in the afternoon. The boys spent a lot of time at the pool and then on Saturday afternoon/evening rented some sand-boards. This is sort of like snowboarding, but on sand. They had a blast on the dunes behind the Fred Meyer in North Florence.
There were people in and out of our room all day on Saturday except for a small window from 4:45pm to about 7 pm. My son Nathan didn’t want to loose his phone in the sand dunes so he left it on the kitchen counter in the room.
When we returned from ATVing I could tell it was going to be a great sunset and thought about taking some photos of the lighthouse with the sun setting. I went to get my camera bag from behind the door in our bedroom and it wasn’t there. I though that’s odd maybe I took it out to the living room or kitchen. It wasn’t there either. I thought, ” humm maybe I took it out the the car for some reason.” I checked the car probably 10 times and the room a hundred times hoping it would magically show up.
While I was frantically looking for my camera bag the boys came home and Nathan couldn’t find his phone anywhere either. He checked pants and room and car, but couldn’t find it anywhere.
We came to the conclusion that someone had broken into our room and stole them. Taunya had her suitcase gone through, but they left her IPad, because you can track it and can’t reset it like you can my sons Samsung phone. We tried the find my phone app and the phone was last seen in our room at 5:07pm at which time someone turned the phone off. So we figure they were watching our room and when everyone left they broke in just after 5pm.
So an incident report with the resort and a police report later, we were feeling pretty upset and the situation. I had brought almost all of my camera gear with me to the coast in my camera bag. So they got away with a little over $10k in camera equipment. I was pretty upset and feeling violated, but not overly or unreasonably angry. Just felt sick inside more than anything realizing how long it had taken me to obtain all of that gear.
I’m not sure what I’m suppose to learn from this experience. Is it to keep my camera gear locked in the car trunk? Is it to hid it in the room so it is difficult to find quickly? Is it to be paranoid and untrusting and not bring my camera gear on vacations? This isn’t a good option since photography on vacation is one of my favorite activities.
So if any of you find a Nikon D800 with a cracked top LCD screen for sale, let me know or the Florence OR police department. 🙂 I in all honesty am more upset about loosing the lenses. Camera bodies need to be updated every few years, but good lenses can last forever if you take care of them. My two most used lenses were my Nikon 70-200mm 2.8G and my 14-24mm 2.8G wide angle lens. I will just have to work to slowly build up my gear again.
Unfortunately with the loss, I will need to use my sons camera a D300 to do a family portrait shoot coming up this Saturday. It is a great camera and will do well. I fortunately still have my 24-120mm f/4 lens and my 85mm 1.4 lens. Both of these lenses are good in certain situations, but neither are perfect for a family shoot. I am also missing my speedlight (Nikon Flash) which will make it much more difficult.
We do have renters insurance and they may be able to cover some of the costs of the stolen equipment. I gave them all of the information on the gear and am waiting to hear back from the adjusters on what they feel it is worth…..Here’s to keeping my fingers crossed that they will give me a fair value for the gear stolen.
One thing I did learn was how important it is to have my camera gear insured against theft and damage.