Watch This Video of Thieves Stealing a Lens Right Off a Photographer’s Camera on His Neck

by on July 10, 2013

in Video

This is a crazy operation in Russia where a group of thieves coordinate to distract a photographer while taking what looks like his Nikon 70-200 right off the camera that’s handing on his neck.

At first, we see the photographer/tourist approached by a group of people putting things in front of him in an attempt to distract.

Step 1 Distraction

Then, one of the thieves slips his hands under the papers held up and removes the lens.

Step 2 Remove Lens

One of the thieves then hides the lens from view by holding it under his papers. There is so much going on around him so fast that he can’t tell who has the lens.

Step 3 Hide Lens from View

He’s so close at this point that it just hurts. He’s almost touching the lens, but the crowd is working to misdirect him.

Step 4 He Is So Close to It

Then, another guy reaches up under the paper and takes the lens. These guys are so ridiculously slick.

Step 5 Pass It Off

And they just walk away with a $2000 lens. Just like that.

Step 6 New Guy Has it

Be careful out there when you are in places you aren’t familiar with.

[via PetaPixel]




1 Jacob July 10, 2013 at 9:18 am

This looks like it was staged. Maybe as a PSA?

2 Eduardo July 10, 2013 at 9:25 am

Not staged man, where I come from, this things happends with smartphones, cameras, wallets, it’s social engineering thieves, they create a distraction and you don’t even notice when they steal your stuff!

3 Greg July 11, 2013 at 9:57 am

It looks staged to me too. There is a wide field of view with only the group of girls walking in the background. You would think more people would be walking by or there would be less people in the group especially if a tourist dressed in orange ventured there.

4 Sasa July 12, 2013 at 2:01 am

This is not staged! Camera view is from the bus that is parked (almost all vehicles in Russia have it) …and this is classic way of stealing called “distract and steal”. Guy was pissed off and I would be for 3000$ lens.This was early morning when buses just arrived or they are arriving around 10AM.
More people will appear in afternoon. Love the city but seeing this I am happy for not being a target, I left my big guns at home…to much pressure to keep things safe.

5 Dennis Stuart July 12, 2013 at 2:08 am

From Russia with love. I wonder if the Police will use these pictures to catch the perps..
Or maybe the cops are in on it. Wouldn’t be surprised. Their political leader himself is a thug. This is why I’d never consider a trip to Russia

6 Steve July 12, 2013 at 8:02 am

Exactly the same thing happened to me in St Petersburg and those thieves also took my 70-200 f2.8. Very wary about using the pro lens in public now ! That video copuld have been me. Fortunately insurance covered my loss

7 Lee July 12, 2013 at 10:01 am

Thieving bastards.

8 Rod July 12, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Had exactly the same shit pulled on me on a train in Paris but they were going for my shoulder bag. Caught the pricks in the act and it was game on.

9 Palen August 13, 2013 at 12:18 am

The Fujifilm x-E1 starts to look good. Yes, this happens all the time in many places, I have seen it.

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