A popular camera store in the UK was targeted this week by burglars who made off with over $200,000 in Leica cameras and lenses.
Ffordes in the North of Scotland says that it was broken into in the early hours on Wednesday morning. It appears that the criminals specifically targeted Leica equipment.
“The police suggest that [the burglars] had watched us for weeks, and they may have come in more than once pretending to be a customer and have a good look around,” manager Alister Bowie tells PetaPixel. “They may have triggered the alarm about a month ago to time how long it takes someone to come — how long the police took to come.
“They were very professional, in and out in under 15 minutes.”
Once inside the store, the burglars immediately headed to the two Leica cabinets and began filling their bags.
Here’s the full list of stolen cameras and lenses along with the serial number of each item:
Ffordes has calculated that the total retail value of all the stolen equipment comes out to be around £166,000 (~$216,500). Thankfully, all the equipment was fully insured, but the road ahead is still drawn out and painful.
“We all know what insurance companies are like — they don’t want to pay and will try and find some way out or they will pay but at far less than it cost us,” Bowie says. “We will just have to wait and see how that one plays out. […] It’s not just the stock, it’s the extra loss of business that these insurance companies never take into consideration.”
Ffordes is now asking the public for help in spotting these serial numbers out in the wild.
“What we now want to do is to protect dealers and customers alike,” Bowie says. “Leica has now registered all the serial numbers as stolen.”
If you do come across one of these serial numbers being offered for sale, Ffordes asks that you contact them immediately so law enforcement can get involved.