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Thread: Stolen gear registry

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    Stolen gear registry

    Hi all
    Just wondering
    I'm looking seriously at purchasing a used prime lens which still has a large price tag

    Is there any way of proving its not stolen as you would with REVS for cars or motorcycles

    I thought maybe the cops might have a database for stolen equipment etc

    cheers
    Bryan
    Bryan

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Very interesting question Bryan.

    I haven't heard of any such thing but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist in some form or other.
    Most if not all the local distributors of any brand lens would be fairly sure to have records of the serial numbers of lenses that they imported into the country and that at least would then allow you to start tracing the history of a lens from one person to another with a lot of work.
    Do you have the serial number of the lens as provided by the buyer?
    I doubt that anyone would try to sell a lens of any value on ebay for example and include the serial number in the ad description as that is probably the first place anyone that had gear stolen would be looking for it to turn up.

    I really don't know the answer to your question, someone else might have an idea though.
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    Yeah, good question. I seem to remember that there was someone who setup a registry of stolen gear, I'm at a loss to find it now though.

    I'm not sure whether the police would help or would know either
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    Police won't help but I know Canon and Nikon both keep records of lens that have been reported stolen with serial numbers, so if it one of these give them a ring.
    DON - Teachable, always learning, always experimenting, just want to know everything I can about photography!

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    Yep Canon and Nikon do, just call em, if it's canon or Nikon you are looking at
    Last edited by ricktas; 23-07-2011 at 7:43am.
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    When I've bought second hand lenses I have always asked the seller for a picture showing the serial number. If they refuse, I don't buy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doninoz View Post
    Police won't help but I know Canon and Nikon both keep records of lens that have been reported stolen with serial numbers, so if it one of these give them a ring.
    Yeah actually police can look up on their database if it has been reported lost/stolen. However it will only come up if it has been reported. There are many times where things get lost or stolen and they are not reported. It's easier if the lens (don't know if they do) has a serial number, but the police can run a check on their system.
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    Yes beat me to it enVision. More so if the police don't help you by telling you if the property was stolen I would take that further. They won't give you sepcific details but will tell you if it is stolen. And the next question would be where is this lens? Most police are very helpful but you could get one on a bad day. We all have them.....

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    It's true, but I think most cops out there would be happy to tell you if it's been reported stolen or not and leave it at that. Less paperwork :

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    Thanks for the feedback guys
    turns out everything is ok with this lens, full receipts and ongoing warranty
    I bought it this arvo & just now got it home & its too dark to play with it - its just sitting on the table looking big & white - bummer!

    after reading all these helpful comments I got to thinking :
    Would it be a good idea to have a sub forum somewhere on AP that allows members to register stolen gear serial no.s etc for this purpose
    who knows there may even be a happy ending for someone
    of course I'm only looking at it from a laymans point of view & there may be good reason why it's not feasible - just an idea thats all

    cheers

    Bryan

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    I imagine there are very good reasons.

    The first would be prove it - prove it was stolen.

    What's to stop some trouble maker registering the serial number of a lens that is owned by someone he's just had a fight with.

    I imagine that Rick would have to be careful he doesn't facilitate this sort of non-sense.

    I suppose you could submit a police report as evidence the report is genuine but, that sounds ichhy
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    Yes but even a police report counts for little these days. It may come as a surprise to some, but people often lie to the police, and usually in order to get something out of the police.

    Silly I know! haha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by enVision View Post
    Yes but even a police report counts for little these days. It may come as a surprise to some, but people often lie to the police, and usually in order to get something out of the police.

    Silly I know! haha.
    But, at least that may give the registry keeper a way of saying, 'I had every reason to think it was a legit thing.'

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    That's a good point. Covering oneself in case it all hits the fan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B D H View Post
    Thanks for the feedback guys
    turns out everything is ok with this lens, full receipts and ongoing warranty
    I bought it this arvo & just now got it home & its too dark to play with it - its just sitting on the table looking big & white - bummer!

    after reading all these helpful comments I got to thinking :
    Would it be a good idea to have a sub forum somewhere on AP that allows members to register stolen gear serial no.s etc for this purpose
    who knows there may even be a happy ending for someone
    of course I'm only looking at it from a laymans point of view & there may be good reason why it's not feasible - just an idea thats all

    cheers

    Bryan
    Not going to happen, cause AP does not have legal cover for even things like For Sale threads on the site, that might 'go bad'. I am not about to expose the site to being sued cause someone bought something that was stolen from a member. As soon as I maintain a register of stolen gear, I also become legally responsible to the maintenance etc of that register.

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    And at the end of the day, the buyer/seller should be the one ensuring that the product is not stolen/unlawfully obtained, not you. There's no need to involve another person who has no connection to the transaction.

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