The Camera Store offers $5,000 shopping spree reward after theft of high-end gear
Cameras, lenses worth $35,000 snagged after burglars pried open metal shutters, smashed window
The Camera Store is offering a $5,000 shopping spree as a reward for any information that leads to a conviction, after two high-end cameras and three lenses were stolen from the downtown Calgary business early Saturday morning.
Store owner Julian Ferreira told CBC News that the theft is the first burglary the store has experienced in its 21-year history.
Ferreira arrived at the store along with police after the building's alarm went off, only to find the steel shutters pried open, windows smashed, and two display cases broken open.
He believes the thieves hid behind a row of green garbage bins, and worked away with a crowbar to pry open the shutters.
"It's a tough business nowadays, we've all been working so hard, all my staff rolled in half-an-hour early for a Christmas meeting only to spend the first half-hour of the day cleaning up glass," Ferreira said.
The items stolen included a Leica MP Safari Edition camera, a Hasselblad X1D camera body in silver, and three Hasselblad lenses, worth a combined total of approximately $35,000.
The green Leica is a limited-edition model, and it was the last one of its kind at The Camera Store.
Other pricey items totalling over $100,000 were left behind, which is one of the reasons Ferreira believes the culprits knew what they were doing.
The store has a large social media following, and employees host a live YouTube show each week.
"We're fortunate that we've really built a large community," said YouTube host Chris Niccolls.
He said the store is hoping the reward will lead to the items being safely returned.
"We're well-known in the area. It's a way of making sure that people are aware that this happened and sharing our situation with them, but also, because we have such a great community and we feel that the kind of attack this was that it's targeted at specific gear, we feel that someone's gonna hear something or know somebody."
Niccols said that people from all around the world have contacted the store to wish them good luck in finding the offenders.
Police are investigating.
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With files from Terri Trembath