The place NOT to convey your digital camera in San Francisco



As you understand, there has sadly been a raft of digital camera thefts in San Francisco of late, placing a highlight on locations you may need to suppose twice about hauling costly digital camera gear with you the subsequent time you go to.

The information reviews on the thefts normally aren’t very particular concerning the actual location of the heists, so I assumed I’d merely level them out right here, in a bit of extra element, earlier than you, like me, get sufferer to digital camera theft within the metropolis.

Do know that essentially the most high-profile crimes have been these devastating“smash and grabs” from parked automobiles full of costly items whereas the vacationers had been out having fun with town. These kind of crimes are up 750% in vacationer spots, particularly Fisherman’s Wharf and the Palace of Effective Arts.

That’s why indicators at the moment are posted everywhere in the metropolis, urging folks to depart nothing of their automobiles.

Road register Fisherman’s Wharf

Listed here are among the San Francisco spots to be further cautious in.

Crissy Discipline

With its idyllic location, an enormous inexperienced park on the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, this is without doubt one of the high spots for smash and grabs. It’s additionally the place I had a Sony A7RIV, 70-200mm G Grasp 2.8 lens, Manfrotto tripod and Rode Wi-fi Go II microphones stolen in 2021, as I used to be speaking into the digital camera and recording a section. Regulation enforcement was blase once I reported the crime, counseling me that I’d by no means see the gear once more, and that the percentages of capturing the thieves had been distant. Despite the fact that some locals had captured the license plate of their getaway automotive. The cops had been proper. No arrest was ever made.

Getaway automotive makes off with my loot from Crissy Discipline, San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands

Marin Headlands

The hands-down greatest spot for photographing the Golden Gate Bridge, from excessive up a hill close to Sausalito, is the place folks park their automobiles and stroll as much as get their shot. One change now’s that indicators warn vacationers to not go away something within the automotive, as a result of heavy smash and seize points within the space. You’ll be able to’t miss the indicators. Sadly, not everybody pays consideration.

we’re secure however our highway journey had a devastating ending 2 days in. stopped at battery spencer Park in SF for 5 minutes to snap some photos got here again to our automotive home windows smashed, suitcases, cameras, all movie, all computer systems, exhausting drives, all gone. continued….

One photographer, Joe Greer, famous on Twitter that he stepped out of the automotive for 5 minutes to get a shot, solely to return and discover his home windows smashed in, and $30,000 value of drugs taken. FYI: the Battery Spencer park is normally cited by many as being in “San Francisco” whereas the truth is, once more, it’s over the bridge, on Conzelman Highway in Sausalito, a special, however close by metropolis.

Smash and Seize warning register Marin Headlands

Past the smash and grabs, a excessive profile stalking on the Headlands occurred not too long ago to photographer Louis Chan, who was photographing the Bridge. He was adopted as he drove residence to the San Francisco suburb or Fremont, the place brazen crooks smashed his again automotive window within the driveway and made off along with his digital camera bag. Safety cameras recorded all the residence encounter.

Metropolis view from Treasure Island

Treasure Island

The identical kind of theft began right here on this little island between Berkeley and San Francisco, affording what’s the prime shot of the San Francisco skyline. After photographers Ben Barghabany and Masha Tighi had been noticed getting their shot, they drove away, and had been adopted. As the true property pictures group was in visitors, ready to get on the freeway, thieves jumped out of their automotive, smashed the again window, stole the digital camera bag with $7,000 value of drugs and drove away. The crime was additionally captured on video by a digital camera in a Tesla that was behind the automotive.

Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks

So many smash and grabs grew to become so frequent at Twin Peaks, which affords a fantastic overhead view of town, that TV station KPIX got here to analyze. Whereas the reporter was doing the story, an armed thief approached and stole his information digital camera.


One other TV information crew snafu, as a safety guard working for TV station KRON was gunned down in November 2021, on the 300 block of 14th Road. An Oakland theft additionally occurred to a employees photographer for the San Francisco Chronicle on the 1400 block of Fifth Road as he was reporting a narrative. He was held up, and misplaced his two cameras.

Why is that this taking place?

In the meantime, why have thieves turned to cameras (together with different issues?) As level and shoots have disappeared, and many individuals turned to fancier, extra elaborate cameras, it’s well-known that the worth tags on these fashions begin at $1,000 and go up and up, with most of the hottest manufacturers promoting for $2,000 to $3,000 with no lens. Add one other $2,500 or so for them, and a superb photographer bag haul may fetch $5,000 to $10,000 and up.

“The Bay Space seems to be more and more harmful for photographers and photojournalists as digital camera tools is commonly focused for its worth and the way straightforward it’s to promote,” famous Petapixel editor in chief Jaron Schneider not too long ago.

The benefit of dumping stolen items on web sites like Craigslist, eBay, Fb Market and Amazon let thieves re-sell sizzling items inside minutes, and minus any traces of their identities. In the meantime the San Francisco D.A.’s workplace, which has come below hearth for neglecting to pursue these thefts, not too long ago introduced {that a} native digital camera store was a entrance for re-selling stolen stuff.

What to do?

Nonetheless go to San Francisco. It’s essentially the most photogenic metropolis within the U.S., I imagine, and regardless of the crime and homeless points, it’s nonetheless an unimaginable place to go to.


Don’t flash your fancy gear in high-profile theft areas. Suppose twice about going to a few of these areas with large cameras and costly glass. In the event you do need to shoot there, strive a small digital camera physique and small lens that doesn’t scream “skilled.” Or journey collectively as a gaggle.

Don’t go away cameras luggage within the automotive.

Don’t go away something within the automotive. Interval.

Strive taking the photographs on a smartphone. They’re are straightforward to steal, however can flip into bricks remotely. In order that they’re not value a lot to thieves. Boo on digital camera producers for not including this expertise to multi thousand greenback plus investments!

Lastly, there are alternative routes to {photograph} the Golden Gate Bridge. Board a ferry boat and get a shot that means, or fork over $219 to hop a seaplane in Sausalito for a beautiful view from above. Who’s going to rob you there?

What are your ideas?

Concerning the Writer

Jefferson Graham is a Los Angeles-based writer-photographer, the host of the “Photowalks” journey pictures collection on YouTube, and co-host of the iPhone Picture Present podcast, a former USA TODAY tech columnist and dealing photographer. You’ll find extra of Jeff’s work on his web siteFbInstagramYouTube, and Twitter. This text was additionally printed right here and shared with permission.