Tips on recovering a lost or stolen camera from the Menlo Park Police Department

by Contributed Content on August 31, 2013

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Has your camera been stolen or even lost? Well, Stolen Camera Finder can actually help you find the location of your camera.

How it works: Every photo you take with your digital camera contains hidden information about both the image and the camera such as the make, model and date. This information, called exif data, can also include a unique serial number which identifies your camera.

Stolen Camera Finder crawls the internet searching for photos, collecting the serial numbers of the cameras that took them. When you use the drag & drop feature, Stolen Camera Finder reads the unique serial number from the exif data of your photo and uses it to match against serial numbers it has stored.

If you have lost your camera or it has been stolen, make a police report. You can also utilize this website to create a missing camera report, which is free of charge. The advantages of making a police report and using Stolen Camera Finder are:

  • If someone finds your lost camera, they can find you and give it back.
  • People buying used cameras can check to see if has been reported stolen.
  • Used camera traders can check if they are accidentally handling stolen property.
  • The website can email you the moment they find photos from your camera on the internet.

Personal story: A Menlo Park Police Officer recently worked a theft case involving a camera. The victim told the officer that he used Stolen Camera Finder and was able to track his camera to Des Moines, Iowa. The website’s search engine returned a match to digital photographs on the internet. The digital photographs showed to be uploaded by a photography company located in Des Moines, Iowa.

The victim contacted the photography company via telephone and told them of the nature and reason for contacting them. They told the victim that they purchased the camera through an eBay.com advertisement. Subsequently, the identification of the eBay account was known to the victim as an acquaintance now living in Washington, DC. The officer investigated, and the case was sent to the District Attorney’s Office.

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