Stolen zuiko 300mm f4 pro

Discussion in 'Back Room' started by Joseph Mina, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. Joseph Mina

    Joseph Mina New to Mu-43

    4
    Jun 17, 2019
    New to the forums.
    Back in December I purchased this lens in NY. I live part-time in USA and South Africa. I purchased the lens to use on Safaris in Southern Africa.

    Recently, the house where I’m staying in South Africa outside of Cape Town was robbed. I was in Japan at the time. Unfortunately, there is no home insurance covering camera/computer items (robbery crime rate in the Western Cape’s more affluent areas is rather high).

    I have the serial number of the lens. Looking for specific suggestions about how I can possibly/eventually track the lens’ use on line via serial number in EXIF. I posted something similar in the DP Review 4/3 forum. Suggestions were too general.

    Police report was filed. Robbery took place May 28. I have sent notices to all camera shops in the Western Cape. Also, have a tracker on local gumtree buy/sell site. And also have sent notices to large cash converter shops.

    Appreciate any suggestions.

    Thanks!
     
  2. I’m sorry for your loss, I would really miss my 300. It looks like you have covered any of my potential suggestions, I have no idea what else to do.
     
  3. fader

    fader Mu-43 Top Veteran

    871
    Aug 20, 2016
    That's horrible. :( I think it's pretty unlikely that you'll spot it with public uploads. You would need to write a program that included both a web-crawler to download files every day and then run each through a tool like exiftool. I just wrote a little script to build my own exif info database - it's not that difficult, but scanning the whole 'net would be an enormous amount of data and require a server up on Amazon's AWS or another cloud provider.

    The real issue is that even if you did find the present owner, likely they bought it black market and couldn't lead you to the thieves even if they wanted to cooperate. Hot gear like this gets dumped pretty quickly because inventory is evidence.
     
  4. Joseph Mina

    Joseph Mina New to Mu-43

    4
    Jun 17, 2019
    Thank you.

    Update: very surprisingly, this past Wednesday evening a member of another camera forum saw my post on that forum about the robbery. He PM'd me to let me know he had just spotted a 300mm f4 on an obscure seller's site in the Western Cape of South Africa. Very rare to see used Olympus lenses on any site here in South Africa. Not very popular vs other brands.

    I checked out the listing. Lens was listed for 25% of new value. I then spoke with the Detective assigned to the robbery who suggested I call the person in a casual way to enquire about availability. I did that. Seller said his boss "gave him the lens". Tentatively arranged to meet him in Cape Town the next day.

    Next day, I attempted to get police support. Nada. Understaffed. Detective was not available due to stand-by duties at station. So I spoke with the head of a private Security outfit who monitors activity in the area of the proposed meet up. They were ready to step in. When I called the seller, I discovered he blocked my phone number. Seems someone from the Police or private Security outfit called him in advance.

    I'm following up now with the head of my local community watch group. I cannot trust the police. But I want that lens back (I know this guy has it). In fact I found the lens listed on another obscure seller's site too. Stay tuned!
     
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