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Thread: Russia: Photographers beware of theft!!

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Petaling Jaya, M'sia

    Default Re: Russia: Photographers beware of theft!!

    To Darkone, tikiman and to those whom have been mugged. I feel for yr losses.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Russia: Photographers beware of theft!!

    So fierce!

    Next year when I go Europe better just bring pns!

  3. #23
    Member sf_kang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    Default Re: Russia: Photographers beware of theft!!

    hi darkone, sorry for your unpleasant experience in Russia. many who have visited Europe has had similar unpleasant experience be it in Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, Sweden, etc. I have lived in Sweden and have been through 15 European countries, and I can say that there are many stories of photographers losing their stuff. I myself had my bag actually snatched from between my legs in Milan, Italy in the mid 1980's.

    There is NO sure-fire way to prevent this. It is also a matter of 'luck'. Some common sense precautions may help but if you're unlucky to be 'targetted', they'll get you anyhow. Don't fight and risk personal injury. Losing a piece of camera gear is no fun, but it's worse losing an eye, or ear, or a hand or finger.

    Some common sense precautions to take (I've been through 42 countries):
    1) Don't bring 'eye catching' equipment. If possible, gaffer your equipment so they are less conspicuous. Prime lenses are smaller, hence less obvious.
    2) Bring old equipment (but still working well) and do not use the original Nikon strap that 'shouts out D700'. Use a neutral dark colour strap, e.g. optech or some not so obvious.
    3) After shooting, immediately place equipment inside the bag. Sling bag across shoulder and have it in front of you (not behind).
    4) Having a shooting buddy work as a 'lookout', i.e. covering your back, watching out for you. Then after a while, you act as lookout when it's your buddy's turn to shoot.

    Once I was in Munich, Germany, shooting some performance in the Town Square. I noticed some chaps standing around. After shooting some minutes, I noticed (at the corner of my eyes) they were slowly getting closer towards me. I immediately packed up my gear into my camera bag, zipped everything up and went back to my hotel room.

    In Italy, my friends were less fortunate. They had their camera snatched away while have coffee by a road side cafe just when 'someone' staged a spill to create a distraction.

    At the rate things are going in Europe, it's gonna get worse.


  4. #24

    Default Re: Russia: Photographers beware of theft!!

    Hi bro sorry for the lost lens . I am currently looking
    At those micro 4/3 camera system , especially Olympus
    Pen and panasonic gf1 . These are small slr bodies cam
    and not so conspicuous . May be we can buy these and
    Use them for travelling . Just my 2 cents worth .

  5. #25

    Default Re: Russia: Photographers beware of theft!!

    Quote Originally Posted by darkone View Post
    Hi people,

    Just want to share my horror experience in St Petersburg.

    On the last day of my holiday in St Petersburg, I decided to bring out my D700 and 70-200 to capture some close shots of the famous onion domes.

    On the way back to my hotel, my friends and I dropped by a pancake cafe for a quick bite. When I was exiting the cafe after the meal, I was forcibly stopped by two big guys pushing souvenirs into my face. Though I found it strange that people are peddling souvenirs in a cafe, it did not occur to me that something was amiss. Holding on to my D700 grip with my right hand, I pushed my way out of the cafe using my left hand to block them.

    Once out of the cafe, I looked down to check my camera, and of all horrors, found that my 70-200 was GONE! I turned back immediately but it was too late, they were already gone via the back door.

    This was a professional job, they didn't want the camera which was strapped around my neck, they were simply after the lense. They knew how to unscrew the lense quickly and they work in a team, you have no chance against them. They have done this many times and upon notifying my hotel, they told me that this kind of theft happens frequently!

    I was unable to make a police report owing to language difficulties and that I was flying out the next day (police report takes 3 days to process).

    Lesson learnt: Don't even think about bringing your big and expensive lenses out to Russia, I learnt it the hard way!

    Hope this serves as a warning for all photographers travelling to Russia.


    Really sorry for your bad experience.

    However, every big country will have it's "thing"

    And what you said about not bringing large lenses is not valid (paisay for this comment) because whether it's big or small, if these people want our stuff, they'll just go for it.

    Does it mean that after SQ006 crashed upon take off in Taiwan many years back means we don't take SQ or airplanes anymore? No...

    By the way, did you buy travel insurance?

    Even if you were coming back the next day and it takes three days to process, at least you made the report. What you could have also done was to inform the police which hotel you were staying, inform the hotel staff, inform the Singapore embassy there (And MFA, if possible) and let them handle it even after you have returned to Singapore.

    The Singapore passport is very powerful, so... my 2cets worth.


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