Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2011/08/25

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Subject: [Leica] Equipment Theft & Insurance
From: wanderjan at (Jan Decher)
Date: Thu, 25 Aug 2011 20:25:52 -0400

Doug et al.,
My stuff was insured through my homeowner's insurance.  I received about 90%
of the value back, but many weeks later. A laboriously handwritten police
report acquired in a hot and overcrowded Ghanaian police office in Accra was
essential.  It took hours.

However, insurance or not, the theft occurred at the very beginning of my
expedition in 1999 (funded by National Geographic) and most of the more
interesting photographic aspects of the study had to be dropped. We were
back to basic small mammal trapping. No glossy write-up in NGM ;-(

I like the idea of GPS tags in a camera backpack and suggested it to Pop.
Photo. in a letter at the time, which they published The device would be
similar to the tiny transmitters we sometimes put on bats etc. for
radiotracking.  Of course the receiver would have to always be stored
elsewhere. But what do you do if you track the thiefs (organized gangs in
Accra) down? Watch the locals lynch them?

A few tips: Clip the waist belt of your camera packs to the seatpost in a
car/taxi. Walk through crowded areas using a buddy system - at least two
people on high alert, watching out for each other.  Wear sturdy shoes ready
for a sprint. Be in top shape physically (not easy when you are jet-lagged
and on malaria prophylaxis).

Having lost an entire bag of Contax, Sony video and Leica binocular
equipment to a street theft on an expedition to Ghana 12 years ago  I find
it exceedingly stupid to take such an expensive piece of gear as the S2 to
Africa for outdoor action photography.
Doug Herr
Birdman of Sacramento