01 January 2014

The stolen camera story: Amazing!

My camera by bobmendo
My camera, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr.

Some will know that recently I was out and about in Sydney on the 21st December, and at my feet was my camera. In a bag. Along with three other lenses. And in a heartbeat, my camera was stolen. I turned away for less than a minute and then it was gone.

I felt naked. I felt bothered and wanted to kick myself for taking it off my shoulder. Wait, where is the thief? I looked around. I ran one way and then another.

Problem was the place where I was had a significant event on that night--The Carols in the Domain. Over 100,000 were gathering into the park to sing Christmas carols. Amazing, but I couldn't stay. I ran to a policeman and began the process of notification, submitting a report, etc.

Sunday the 22nd: I finalized the report with the police, giving them the actual serial numbers of the lenses and camera, and details about the bag itself. While I waited for the police in person to come over, an amazing thing happened. I saw a picture of the thieves.

Seems that the SD memory card which is inside my camera is from a company named "Eye Fi" I programmed it a couple years ago to upload any and all photos whenever it finds wi-fi and the camera is on (or if someone is using the card to upload onto their computer which has wi-fi.) onto my Flickr site. And privately. That way I could upload the many pictures I take without having to 'do it myself.'

As a result of this behind-the-scenes action, I was able to see the pictures the thieves took of themselves. And no one would know I have these new photos. Each day the criminals or camera finders as they would like to be titled, would take more and more shots of themselves. I took a sample of their best and sent it almost daily to the police in Waverley.

So I gave them more and more, but I received no answer. After 5 days of waiting, and being overseas that waiting was aggravated, I asked online if anyone thought that I should put those photos up and ask for help. Most agreed that social media was powerful for such. That's what I did.

I sent the top 12 pix up to my FB page and within a few hours, detective work was in full swing. One saw a school sign; another saw some water; another saw a shopping centre. You get it, virtual sleuths.

But none so good as Anglican minister Daniel Connor who was a surveyor before he became a minister. Using his surveying skills he figured out the exact address of the camera and sent it to me. I rang (it was 2 am in the US where I was) and spoke with the Windsor police, and after jumping through some serious hoops, got them to go to the house, and within minutes the camera was in police lockup, safe and secure.

Amazing indeed!

All because of ...
1) An Eye-fi card
2) People praying across the world (they told me so)
3) A surveyor/ minister who had skills
4) Police inaction which caused me to go to FB as a last resort
5) God, who really wants us to say 'thanks' and to say 'amazing!'

Hope that fixes up all your queries and lets you rejoice in the Almighty also.

As we say, 'too good!'

4 comments:

Beseder said...

Woohoo! Glory to G-d! I am so happy to hear this! I have been praying for you about this loss. I am so thankful to hear your report. :)

Dominique Abram said...

Really pleased for you too! Our daughter's iphone was stolen when she was out with her friends. Please pray with us for its recovery. G-d bless you.

Bob Mendelsohn said...

Using my iPhone on this trip to the Caribbean, to the family Christmas in New Orleans, to Kansas City for a pair of meet ups, and Nashville for more family time is seriously 'less' than what I like to do, BUT no whining. Thanks Beseder, and thanks Dominique...sorry about your daughter and her iPhone. Did she have the 'find my iPhone' installed and synced with her computer?

Stephanie Hilliard said...

Excellent thinking, Bob, on everyone's part. And Baruch HaShem for making it possible.