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08-20-2014, 10:23 AM   #1
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Camera (In)Security

A recent poster relayed the bad news of having his car broken into and his camera gear stolen.

I didn't want to ask in his thread but as one who takes his camera and ~6 lenses in the car all the time I was wondering if anyone had any good suggestions to safeguard your gear when leaving the car unattended.

I put the camera bag on the back seat floorboard and it's difficult to see. I have thought of somehow rigging something up with some type of locking system to put in the trunk that would thread through the zipper on the camera bag, then thread through the straps on the bag making it difficult for some miscreant to pilfer what is not his. Or, I wonder if there's any metal type of webbing made that would encircle the camera bag and then be able to lock to an item in the trunk.

08-20-2014, 10:28 AM   #2
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In the trunk would be safest I would think. Most smash & grabs are just going to be break the window, grab & go. They are not going to mess around opening the trunk for possibly no gain since they have no idea if anything is in there.

My son had his laptop/bookbag/camera stolen that way in a parking lot. Just broke his car window and grabbed.

I usually leave my gear on the floor of the rear seat tucked under the front seat. It's not real visible but still vulnerable if they really want. I do try to park only in well trafficked areas though.
08-20-2014, 11:00 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ok2day Quote
I have thought of somehow rigging something up with some type of locking system to put in the trunk that would thread through the zipper on the camera bag, then thread through the straps on the bag making it difficult for some miscreant to pilfer what is not his.
You can probably use something made for luggage or laptops. I recall Kensington as one brand of laptop locks. You could thread the cable between camera bag straps and an anchor point in your trunk, then add a luggage combination lock to the zipper.

QuoteOriginally posted by ok2day Quote
Or, I wonder if there's any metal type of webbing made that would encircle the camera bag and then be able to lock to an item in the trunk.
I guess this would stop someone with a knife from slicing through the camera bag. Chicken wire from a hardware store added to the locking cable above would accomplish that. Sounds like too much trouble to access your camera, though.
08-20-2014, 11:08 AM   #4
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honestly, my camera never stays in the car. for one, it gets awfully hot at times. temperature extremes can't be good for the equipment

we've asked for seating for 4 in restaurants because we each have a backpack with our camera gear. they need chairs, too

if it's just a bathroom break, we alternate.

especially when on vacation, it's just too big a risk

08-20-2014, 11:22 AM   #5
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Yeah, I don't really keep my camera in the car. I would put it in the trunk if I would leave it, and maybe cover the bag with some cloth and so on, to prevent sliding and so it doesn't stand out as much.
But generally, I have the camera in the same room as I am

Last edited by Na Horuk; 08-26-2014 at 03:49 AM.
08-20-2014, 11:36 AM   #6
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Might help to not carry a bag that screams "I'm a camera bag!" and not leave the gear actually showing. When I have to leave my camera in the car and I don't have the bag, I usually pop a limited or XS lens on it, the body fits in the compartment between seats, most lenses fit in the console compartment, flash usually fits in with one or the other. I don't really like to toss it in the trunk because it makes it obvious you're storing valuables. I've had my car broken into before and the thief accessed the trunk through the back seat. Of course now I drive a sonata hybrid and the trunk access through the back seat is a hole barely big enough to stuff your arm through... just enough that if you have to carry something like a long board or fishing rod or something it could fit through... but I think most cars now have trunk access via the back seat.
My wife gets cold on long road trips, so I keep a small blanket in the car (it's actually an electric blanket powered by the cigarette lighter - crazy). Sometimes I'll toss that over my camera bag if I have it in the car. But my bag is just a nondescript leather bag - it's dark brown so if it's stuck down on the floor and out of the sunlight, it's not obvious, and it's square-ish, so it doesn't look like a purse.

If you were really, really paranoid, you could remove your spare tire and hide your camera gear in the place that goes. Since my hybrid didn't come with a spare tire in the first place, I've occasionally used that area to store things (for some reason it's got a thick styrofoam liner so it's not a terrible place to stash things you want to keep cold, even if there's no lid).

If you have a vehicle where you can remove some of the seats, you could use a bicycle lock or something to clamp your camera bag to the loop on the floor that the seat locks into?
08-20-2014, 12:05 PM   #7
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Check out stores that sell camping/hiking equipment.

You can buy very strong wire-mesh bags that are designed so that you put a back pack (camera bag) in it, pull the neck wire tight, then padlock it to something strong and secure.

In a hostel/hotel that might be a heating pipe; in your car there may be an anchor point in the boot, (sorry, trunk!), for child seats, etc, that you could use instead.
08-20-2014, 12:42 PM   #8
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This might be the sort of thing you are after?
Pacsafe - Pacsafe C35L camera bag protector
I have used the larger pacsafe brand mesh for full backpack when travelling. Nice peace of mind, but of course extra weight and hassle.
Cheers
Dean


Last edited by Dean Bradshaw; 08-20-2014 at 12:43 PM. Reason: Spelling
08-20-2014, 12:54 PM   #9
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I put mine in a bright red plastic bag that says in big white letters
Handle with Care! Medical-Waste
I just leave it on the passenger seat in such a way that it can be read easily. But then I could obtain such a bag from work.
08-20-2014, 03:34 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
honestly, my camera never stays in the car. for one, it gets awfully hot at times. temperature extremes can't be good for the equipment

we've asked for seating for 4 in restaurants because we each have a backpack with our camera gear. they need chairs, too

if it's just a bathroom break, we alternate.

especially when on vacation, it's just too big a risk
+1 I keep my bag with me at all times.

Phil.
08-20-2014, 06:51 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ok2day Quote
A recent poster relayed the bad news of having his car broken into and his camera gear stolen.

I didn't want to ask in his thread but as one who takes his camera and ~6 lenses in the car all the time I was wondering if anyone had any good suggestions to safeguard your gear when leaving the car unattended.

I put the camera bag on the back seat floorboard and it's difficult to see. I have thought of somehow rigging something up with some type of locking system to put in the trunk that would thread through the zipper on the camera bag, then thread through the straps on the bag making it difficult for some miscreant to pilfer what is not his. Or, I wonder if there's any metal type of webbing made that would encircle the camera bag and then be able to lock to an item in the trunk.
Use a pelican case locked in the trunk, with a high tensile steel cable around some part that cannot be easily removed. Like a teacher loop or the trunk hinge.

It will never be perfect, but it will slow them down to the point of getting caught most times. The same can be done in hotels, with the cable around heating pipes , radiators, the bed frame, etc.
08-20-2014, 07:06 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the suggestions/ideas--JohnX & Dean I think that's the ticket--I wouldn't use it very much but it sure beats some a-hole stealing my gear!
08-20-2014, 07:19 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by psychdoc Quote
I put mine in a bright red plastic bag that says in big white letters
Handle with Care! Medical-Waste
I just leave it on the passenger seat in such a way that it can be read easily. But then I could obtain such a bag from work.
Lol, my relative that is a nurse could snag one for me.
08-25-2014, 07:18 PM   #14
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I don't leave my camera bag in the car very often except when traveling and the bag is often buried under other stuff. I guess I've been fortunate. Many of our trips are in my pickup and much of my camera gear is in the back (I have a cap) with the camping gear and luggage and no locks. My camera is also with me on motorcycle trips and is in a leather saddlebag, also without a lock. I live in a very rural area and while thefts do happen, it's rare. I generally worry more about bears, raccoons, and porcupines getting into my stuff.
08-26-2014, 03:25 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by sherrvonne Quote
...relative who is a nurse could snag one for me
...and preferably an unused one !
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