I am sad to write that Lens Pro To Go, one of the nation’s leading camera and lens rental services, suffered a break-in at its headquarters outside Boston this weekend and was robbed of nearly $600,000 worth of equipment. These types of equipment thefts are unfortunately not terribly rare (although this is by far the largest one I’ve heard of), because photography gear is unfortunately very easy to resell and is therefore a notoriously attractive target for thieves.
(In addition to being one of the country’s leading camera and lens rental houses, Lens Pro To Go also happens to be near and dear to me as I know the owner and several of the employees personally, and have worked with them for years and years. Paul Friedman, the owner, is one of the nicest people you’ll ever come across.)
The exact specifics of how LPTG was robbed are lurid: an external window was broken, allowing the thieves into a small closet; from there, the thieves broke through an interior wall to get into LPTG’s main storage area (the apparent familiarity the thieves had with the internal layout of LPTG’s facility is sure to raise eyebrows, and more than a few questions).
More importantly though, at least for the time being, is that no one was hurt during the commission of the crime, and incredibly, the LPTG team was able to pick up the pieces, inventory their losses as well as what was left behind, and continue fulfilling customers’ orders without missing a beat… for which they deserve an incredible bravo. That’s dedication, folks.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly: Lens Pro To Go has compiled a list of all the equipment that was stolen with the items' serial numbers. As tends to be the nature with photo gear thefts, the thieves will likely try to sell the equipment as quickly as possible. Therefore it is essential that if you are looking to buy a camera or lens on eBay, Craigslist, or through any other aftermarket means, you check the list of stolen gear serial numbers to make sure you don’t buy stolen property, and if you find someone selling any of LPTG’s stolen gear you contact the police.
The stolen equipment serial number list is available on Lens Pro To Go’s website, here.
Again, if you’re buying camera equipment now or in the future via services like eBay or Craigslist, please be vigilant and check the serial numbers against the list of stolen gear. If you find someone selling stolen gear, call the police.
(And when you need to rent a camera, lens, or a variety of other photo- and video-related stuff, the Lens Pro folks are great people; consider giving them your business!)