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03-05-2014, 04:36 PM   #1
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Burgled in Broad Daylight...they got my tripod

Just wanna vent a little...majorly bummed. For the first time in 26 years of living where I do, I got broken into on Monday afternoon at about 3:35. My place is a narrow strip of creekbed, and there are several small cabins scattered over the three acres, basically in a straight line. My "house" cabin is toward the back of the the property, and the cabin I'm using as my photography workspace (for my project of archiving my late sweetie's artwork) is about 200 feet away, with some brush and small trees in between. I have a farm gate at the front of the property at the road that always stays closed with a chain around a post. That has always been enough...until Monday.

Heard car doors slamming, went out to my front porch, and couldn't see anything back here in the back. Since the gate was closed, I figured I was probably hearing folks across the road. Sound carries here in the winter with no foliage on the trees. Went back to my computer, and about five minutes later heard more slamming and banging. Ran out to the driveway, and found the gate had been opened. Started running down the driveway, and saw a small pickup loaded to the gills with stuff in the back peel out of a small circle gravel drive up by our guest cabin and my workspace.

Screamed at them, they had to have heard me, even if they were peeling out...they were too far away for me to see a license number, basically just the color of their truck was about all I could give as a description. Ran up to our guest house cabin, which is right by the circle drive, and saw the little porch gate had been flung open. Ran up the steps, but that door was secure. Ran across the yard to my workspace cabin, and my heart sunk when I saw it was open.

They had kicked open a long-unused doggy door, had either a child or a skinny meth-head buddy crawl through and unlock the door. They stole my late sweetheart's Martin guitar, they took my Ventura guitar that I've owned since 1975, and then they slung aside the black comforter I had stapled up to create a window-free space for the photography, and they took my Manfrotto 190X PROB with the groovy joystick grip ball head.

I've never been broken into before. Never. And for them to take these three particular things and nothing else just weirds me out. The guitars have incredible sentimental value, and I had just this last few weeks begun to really make some progress on the photography project. I have been getting great shots with all the M-series lenses I've been buying on the Marketplace! And now, I'm out of commission as far as that goes until I go slap down another $300+ for a new tripod and head.

SO I boarded up the hole where that dang dog door was, and yesterday I went to the Depot to get their heaviest chain and heaviest lock, and now have that on the gate. I mean, it just astounds me that somebody would come in a closed gate that's plastered with NO TRESPASSING and POSTED signs (seriously...there's four signs on the gate!) and do this. And you gotta wonder just how desperate are they to think that there's anything worth stealing in a small, rundown cabin in the woods....and to steal a dead woman's guitar is just pretty much as low as it gets. I'm just glad I didn't leave the camera bag down there. I figured I could leave the tripod set up, so that I would have less to do next time I went to do some work.

The one bright spot is the sheriff's deputy that took the report said I stood a better chance than most folks of getting at least some of it back...Thankfully, I had all the original purchase paperwork on Char's Martin. I described my Ventura V-12 to them, and he photographed my original purchase receipt from Precision Camera for the Tripod and ball head.

Anyway, thanks for reading...I just wanted to vent to some fellow Pentaxians. I'm sure some of y'all have had your gear ripped off before...sure don't feel good, does it?

03-05-2014, 04:47 PM   #2
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Sucks to hear that!

I've never had photo gear stolen, but I had a few very nice bikes stolen out of my garage once... that was terrible.

The worst thing, though, was when my roadbike got stolen-- I was at the UofA Campus Rec for about an hour, with my bike locked up with a U-lock (and cable lock threaded through the wheels). This was at noon, on a Saturday, during a big campus event. The campus police pretty much told me it was gone forever, and were no help. That was much more valuable than my camera gear...

Also, around the same time, my landlord kept not fixing a rusted out pipe in my closet, which eventually burst, ruining one of my basses, one of the speakers in my amp cab, and a few other things. Never got any restitution for that, either.

Good luck getting the stuff back.

Keep your eyes on Craigslist, eBay, and call the local pawn shops frequently. Most people won't try to pawn stolen stuff anymore, but plenty of people sell online. Luckily, you can prove the guitar is yours, so no matter when and where it pops up, you should be able to get that back.

Good luck!
03-05-2014, 05:31 PM   #3
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Very sorry to hear that. It really leaves you feeling violated to know that these creeps have busted in and eyed all your stuff - then taken some as well. I hope you get it back. We had a break in once (like you, rural area) but the idiots really only did damage breaking in because the neighbours disturbed them. The police got a conviction of one of them (he was out after 6 months) but I never got paid for the damages.
03-05-2014, 08:34 PM   #4
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I feel for you. Thieves got over $4000 in gear from me in 2008. LAPD said "You knew this would happen eventually. Case closed."
It takes a whole other kind of person to wreck peoples lives for whatever momentary gain.
Maybe the cops will catch someone. Don't poison yourself with resentment or regret.

03-05-2014, 08:50 PM   #5
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I have read several stories like this.....I hope you are able to get your stuff back...


03-06-2014, 08:03 PM   #6
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Thanks, y'all...spent the day today taking fliers with all the pertinent info and photos to leave at the ten pawn shops on my side of town. Also been looking on Craigslist several times a day since it happened.

Yeah, I don't need to get mired down in regret, but I'm still pretty angry about it all.

I felt like I did some decent legwork today, making personal contact with the pawn shop folks, all but one of who were positive and helpful, saying they'd keep an eye out.

Since I'm in the county, not the city, the Sheriff's Office is who I deal with when something happens, but I also called and spoke to someone in the APD pawn shop detail, and emailed them the same info I took around to the pawn shops today, along with the county sheriff's case number, etc., and they were very positive and helpful as well, so maybe it will work out.

But I guess I shouldn't wait around to see if they recover the tripod and head. I'll probably go up to Precision and see if they've got the same in stock and just bite it and get another set.
03-07-2014, 04:52 PM   #7
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It always sucks when losers who can't lead an honest life ruin the life of those who do. I know how you feel as I have been ripped off a time or three over the years.

I truly hope you catch these creeps.

Even if you don't, take comfort in knowing that everyone gets what they deserve.
03-07-2014, 05:04 PM   #8
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I hope your leg work pays off with at least recovering your stuff.

03-07-2014, 08:07 PM   #9
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For the guitars, I don't know how effective it is but I would list them on stolenguitarregistry.com

Also touch base with any local music clubs or musician hangouts.

Sorry you are going through this. It's the feeling of violation that stinks more than the actual lost gear.
03-07-2014, 10:19 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by NicoleC Quote
It's the feeling of violation that stinks more than the actual lost gear.
That's it right there.

When strangers violate the sanctity of your home you wind up feeling, I dunno, words cannot describe the feeling . . . . . . . .
03-07-2014, 10:43 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Racer X 69 Quote
I dunno, words cannot describe the feeling . . . . . . .
...and the feeling sucks! I wish you all the best in recovering your gear. You might leave a post decscribing your lost guitars over at acousticguitarforum.com. There's some good folks over there who also know that "violated" feeling & may be able to help.
03-09-2014, 03:47 PM   #12
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You need a couple little doggies for that doggie door. A couple Rottweilers come to mind. They are also beautiful models for photography. ;-)
03-09-2014, 07:44 PM - 1 Like   #13
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Yes, that feeling is the worst. They handled small items we had arranged as a little display on a corner table, and they opened one of the rubbermaid tubs I have some of Char's smaller framed works in. Just made me horribly angry to think of them actually touching our things...especially Char's work.

I will definitely go to the "stolenguitarregistry.com" site and enter them there, as well as the acousticguitarform...many thanks for that. I will be going to several guitar stores tomorrow here with fliers, and I will ask them where else they think would be a good idea to take some. I put up ads on Austin, San Antonio, and DFW craigslist this afternoon, with photos and the offer of a reward for each item. Pains me to think of having to pay to get my own stuff back, but if it will help, I'll do it.

And yep, most of my friends have all brought up "Isn't it about time you got another dog?" I have to sigh and say "maybe". We lost our twelve-year-old sweetheart of a dog (Blanche) to cancer while Char was going through the first half of chemo. That was hard to take, in the midst of everything else that was going on, and I've ended up having to grieve both of them together.

I'm still not sure I'm ready yet...Blanche was one of those amazingly serene and just spiritually "present" dogs that are few and far between...she kinda "broke the mold" as far as dogs go. She was a "three way split": Shepherd, Chow, and Lab, and just the perfect blend of all three. And that's comin' from an old guy who's had dogs his whole life...here's my favorite shot I ever took of her, about a year before we had to have her put down.

But maybe it IS time to start thinking about it. I know I've got to put some fencing up before I can get another "furry family member." I might just work on that this coming week.
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03-09-2014, 07:53 PM   #14
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I know what you mean about a heart dog. Maybe take in a foster, especially an older dog that has little chance of finding a home. There is something special about senior dogs. They are content just to love and be loved. They break your heart when they go, but they sure do open it up first.
03-21-2014, 05:01 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Happy that today my UPS guy brought the att'd from B & H. Exact replacement. Local store Precision Camera was "out of stock" on both the tripod and head. B & H rules. It cost less to replace them than it did to buy them in the first place

Now I can get back to what I was doin'...what I promised my darlin' I would do.

And when I took all my tax stuff to my CPA yesterday, there was a little white dog in her office. Her 13 year old Westy. She said she needed to ask me for a "big favor"...she wants me to keep her dog while she tries to sell her house. An "open-ended" thing...as long as it takes her to sell the house.

Not quite the kind of doggie I'd want if I was getting one, but she evidently had her trained quite well. As soon as I walked in, the little Westy (who's name is "Boo"...which was what we used to call Blanche "for short") greeted me with much wagging and sniffing and coquettishness, after which she lay down right in front of my right shoe, stopping short of putting her head on my shoe.

How could I refuse? Oy.

So I will spend the morning putting up a few fence posts to repair the fence that the deer trampled down after Blanche passed, and she's going to bring her over tomorrow sometime.

And I can finally get back to my archiving project.
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