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Old Jul 23, 2012, 2:50 PM   #1
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Default $9K worth of gear stolen and recovered

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GadgetTrak Blog

Photographer Recovers $9K Stolen Camera & Equipment Thanks to GadgetTrak
Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Professional photographer recovers stolen Nikon D3 camera using GadgetTrak Camera Serial Search. The stolen camera was tracked down through images posted on Flickr after the device was stolen that were scanned and indexed by GadgetTrak. Police acted on evidence provided and recovered the camera a year after it was stolen.

Professional photographer John Heller experienced the unthinkable while on assignment for Getty Images. His prized possession, a Nikon D3 camera was stolen from him at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. It seemed the camera with lenses valued at over $9,000 was gone forever; gone that is, until just a few months ago when he did a search for his camera on GadgetTrak’s Camera Serial Search. Heller entered the serial number of his stolen camera and found an exact match with several images that were recently posted to Flickr.

With the help of police, Heller was able to track the images to another professional photographer through Facebook, who had unknowingly purchased the stolen camera from an individual and even had the receipt to prove it. The camera was returned to Heller and the police are currently investigating the individual whom it was purchased from, the investigation is still ongoing.

This is the first time stolen property has been recovered by tracking the serial number embedded in images. We have also learned that thanks to this recovery, the LAPD is now recommending our tool to detectives and officers in the field.

GadgetTrak’s Camera Serial Search tool is a free service that we developed that scans images posted online and extracts their embedded serial numbers into a searchable database. It allows people to enter the serial number of a camera and see all of the photos that we have discovered that were taken by that camera. To date we have indexed more than 10 million camera serial numbers, making it the largest database of its kind. We have currently indexed all of the photos on professional photo sites like 500px.com as well as all images posted to Flickr from 2006 to the present, with plans to search additional sites in the works.

2 Canon 7D Cameras, Canon 5D Mark II Camera, Canon 17-40 F/4 L lens, 2 Canon 24-105 L lens, Canon 70-200 f/4 L lens, Canon 300 f/4 IS L lens, Canon 400 f/4 L lens, Canon 1.4X L extender, Canon 2X L extender, Canon 430 EX Flash, Canon 530 EX Flash
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