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Another caution when in San Francisco

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Spent the whole day yesterday photographing San Francisco, California. Truly a beautiful town, tourists everywhere, busy, busy, busy. At my last destination before sunset (won't say exactly where for now), I was lucky to find a found a parking spot. There was an SUV behind me with tourists traveling from China. Very nice folks. They warned me that just moments prior, while they were nearby seeing the sights for only about 30 minutes, their vehicle got robbed.

 

This was broad daylight, people, cars, tourists everywhere, so brazen and so sly was the thief or thieves. Apparently someone, (perhaps a team) noticed a bag thru the window in the far back of the car. They quickly smashed the window ( I imagine with a small bat or tool), the glass shattered into tiny bits leaving a big hole, and they grabbed the tourists' bag and ran,

 

Had I parked there moments earlier, I could easily have been the one to lose some camera gear left behind in the car as I was photographing the sight just across the street.

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Seems like 'tis the season unfortunately.

 

A friend of mine was robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight on a Saturday afternoon in a busy Chicago suburb shopping mall parking lot  with people all around.He demanded her purse and had a gun pointed at her.

Terrified her as expected and she turned it over to him. I hope she reported this to the police.

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First commandment for a tourist, photographer, person in general. Never ever leave valuable thing visible in your car, no even mention our precious cameras, in any place in this world. Well, Japan could be an exception. :)

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First commandment for a tourist, photographer, person in general. Never ever leave valuable thing visible in your car, no even mention our precious cameras, in any place in this world. Well, Japan could be an exception. :)

 

. . . and perhaps Reykjavik too.

 

dd

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Interesting article about Reykjavik, thanks.

 

Oddly San Francisco is very liberal and wealthy, where even the 'poor' have so much more than those elsehwere who are considered "well-off".

SF ranks above the US average in all the key crime statistics according to this website:

http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-San-Francisco-California.html

 

Plus SF is number one in the US (rivalling NYC back and forth) for per capita pedestrian fatalities.

 

So as a photographer, the city has fantastic lure abounding with wonderful photo ops, but be very alert and cautious there.

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First commandment for a tourist, photographer, person in general. Never ever leave valuable thing visible in your car, no even mention our precious cameras, in any place in this world. Well, Japan could be an exception. :)

 

. . . and perhaps Reykjavik too.

 

dd

 

+ my little island.

I do not even lock the car over here. Even a bicycle is safe. But as soon as on the fastland, let alone the city (Gothenburg) I wouldn't leave a half eaten sandwich visible in the vehicle!

Best wishes for the Holidays from the archipelago in southern Bohuslan

Ladi K

Edited by ladikirn

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Leave even an old newspaper in a car and, chances are, the car will be broken into anywhere in the world. New Tear's resolution, never leave anything visible in a car.

 

dov

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Better yet,make the car invisible too!  :D

Happy Holidays!

L

Edited by Linda

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If you're really paranoid, don't even go to bed at night when travelling. I know of a photographer who had all his gear stolen from his hotel room while he slept. Admittedly, it was in Belize City, which isn't exactly the safest place on the planet, and it was probably an inside job.

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Guess things have changed in SF.  In the 1980's I left Blads, lenses, my extra power packs and heads in the trunk of my 67 convertible Mustang that was double parked

near North Beach and I left the keys in the trunk.  When I got back to the car the keys were sticking out of the trunk lock and I didn't even get a ticket for double parking.....

 

On another note;  When I travel I put all of my equipment in the tub of my hotel bathroom room.  I leave the light in the bathroom on as well as a portable radio playing and the

door almost pulled closed.  Not many thieves will go into a bathroom under those conditions.

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Guess things have changed in SF.  In the 1980's I left Blads, lenses, my extra power packs and heads in the trunk of my 67 convertible Mustang that was double parked

near North Beach and I left the keys in the trunk.  When I got back to the car the keys were sticking out of the trunk lock and I didn't even get a ticket for double parking.....

 

On another note;  When I travel I put all of my equipment in the tub of my hotel bathroom room.  I leave the light in the bathroom on as well as a portable radio playing and the

door almost pulled closed.  Not many thieves will go into a bathroom under those conditions.

Very inventive solution indeed. But for some reason, the famous shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's move "Psycho" comes to mind. It was shot in Northern California (not far from SF), I believe.

 

I always worry about camera equipment left in hotel rooms, although miraculously I've never had anything stolen. Now that I've switched to smaller, mirror-less cameras, I find that I can fit much of my gear in the hotel room safe (assuming it has one) or take it with me to dinner.

Edited by John Mitchell

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John,

 

I learned the bathroom trick from my NIKON rep and it came with a very funny story about a shuttle launch and his partner coming back to the

room after a night of drinking and turning on the shower without looking first....

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John,

 

I learned the bathroom trick from my NIKON rep and it came with a very funny story about a shuttle launch and his partner coming back to the

room after a night of drinking and turning on the shower without looking first....

Yes, that's definitely a hazard. It might be safer (and drier) just to stuff everything under the bed and leave a light on and the TV blaring. I've done that quite often.

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John,

 

I learned the bathroom trick from my NIKON rep and it came with a very funny story about a shuttle launch and his partner coming back to the

room after a night of drinking and turning on the shower without looking first....

Liquid hydrogen does that to a fellow.. Best stick to kerosene.

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 Best wishes for the Holidays from the archipelago in southern Bohuslan

 

 

Are they the islands west of Stenungsund? I have memories of a couple of wonderful short stays on the coast there in the 1970s.

 

Alan

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Buy a reflective safety vest, the bright yellow or orange variety, that has "POLICE" stenciled on the back of it. Place it casually, but with the "POLICE" letters showing, over whatever item you are wanting to shield from view in your vehicle. Should create a air of doubt amongst ordinary thieves to pass up such a risk and move on to easier pickins. A black towel or jacket/coat also works well to hide valuable items in plain sight inside a vehicle.

 

Marc

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Buy a reflective safety vest, the bright yellow or orange variety, that has "POLICE" stenciled on the back of it. Place it casually, but with the "POLICE" letters showing, over whatever item you are wanting to shield from view in your vehicle. Should create a air of doubt amongst ordinary thieves to pass up such a risk and move on to easier pickins. A black towel or jacket/coat also works well to hide valuable items in plain sight inside a vehicle.

 

Marc

 

Yes, that's an old trick used by liquor store here in NYC. The trouble is the seasoned pros know these tricks, and the young teen gang bangers don't care -- they like taking risks. 

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Yes, thus the "ordinary thieves" reference. There is no theft-proof way to secure items in your vehicle short of installing a lock box. I rarely leave my gear in my vehicle unless it's situation where it's in and out quick and I can keep an eye on my vehicle, such as stopping into a restaurant for a bite to eat. Whenever I finish up a shoot I will run home and unpack all of my gear before running any errands. Occassionally I will carry my camera gear into the store with me if it's a must-stop on the way home.

 

Marc

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 Best wishes for the Holidays from the archipelago in southern Bohuslan

 

 

Are they the islands west of Stenungsund? I have memories of a couple of wonderful short stays on the coast there in the 1970s.

 

Alan

Those are Orost and Tjörn. They are big, but in 70ties probably safe and people were nice. Time brings changes, 

We are archipelago of little island/islets just west from Gothenburg. Here appears that the time has stopped for at least half a century ago...

so, people are still civilised and pleasant :) Come and see.

No dangers for cameras! 

But not much to shoot either :(

But who cares anyway .. .with the way this industry goes it's more lucrative to go fishing then shooting :( or :)?

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 Best wishes for the Holidays from the archipelago in southern Bohuslan

 

 

Are they the islands west of Stenungsund? I have memories of a couple of wonderful short stays on the coast there in the 1970s.

 

Alan

 

But who cares anyway .. .with the way this industry goes it's more lucrative to go fishing then shooting :( or :)?

 

I understand that Sony (unless Fuji beats them to it) will soon be coming out with a camera that features a built-in, retractable fishing rod. It should prove to be extremely popular among starving stock photographers. :D

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I understand that Sony (unless Fuji beats them to it) will soon be coming out with a camera that features a built-in, retractable fishing rod. It should prove to be extremely popular among starving stock photographers. :D

Looking forward to.

There are rumours that it is going to be waterproof as well as thief proof :)

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I understand that Sony (unless Fuji beats them to it) will soon be coming out with a camera that features a built-in, retractable fishing rod. It should prove to be extremely popular among starving stock photographers. :D

 

 

 

 

 

That'll be handy because my A55 can already walk on water.

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I understand that Sony (unless Fuji beats them to it) will soon be coming out with a camera that features a built-in, retractable fishing rod. It should prove to be extremely popular among starving stock photographers. :D

Looking forward to.

There are rumours that it is going to be waterproof as well as thief proof :)

 

And it will be made by Zeiss to boot!

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Buy a reflective safety vest, the bright yellow or orange variety, that has "POLICE" stenciled on the back of it. Place it casually, but with the "POLICE" letters showing, over whatever item you are wanting to shield from view in your vehicle. Should create a air of doubt amongst ordinary thieves to pass up such a risk and move on to easier pickins. A black towel or jacket/coat also works well to hide valuable items in plain sight inside a vehicle.

 

Marc

In my neck of the woods, they'd just break in looking for a semi-auto.

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It's hard to imagine, but my car was broken into in San Francisco about a month ago but I got lucky. I parked in a garage in a well lit spot, visible from several directions that were well trafficked. Much of my camera gear was left in the back covered area of my Prius including my Canon 6d, many lenses and my Gigapan. On the back passenger seat I left my overnight bag. After eating lunch and grabbing some bagels for home, I got back to the car only to notice my rear passenger window was smashed. It took me a moment to think what they could have taken. After further inspection the they must have been in such a hurry they just grabbed my overnight bag and ran as fast as they could. My camera gear was all still untouched in the back. All they got was some old clothes - the only irreplaceable item was my old Apple Newton bag I used for my shaving kit bag. 

 

I was very happy to still have all my photo gear, but I was frustrated by how the shopping center handled my situation. Just about a minute after I got to my car I spotted a security guard coming down the stairs. She said there was basically nothing to do, but they usually take a photo for their records. She came back a few minutes later and said she couldn't find the card for her camera. And she said I'd have to call the police because they don't take calls from them anymore?! For the record this was at Potrero Center, only a couple blocks from where I lived 15 years ago, not a really bad neighborhood. I think for many folks on Alamy might find it strange, but here in the US there's actually very little video surveillance in public areas like parking lots. It would seem that a few CCTVs would substantially reduce this sort of thing.

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