Stolen Photo Gear, Make it harder for those doing the stealing.

I had read about Trevor Sehrer, a Google Engineer, who in his spare time was looking to establish a service to help combat the theft and resale of photographic gear back in the summer.  To be honest I’d largely forgotten about the article until today when I saw mention that Lenstag.com had now launched Apps for both iOS and Android.  So with that little reminder I thought I’d download the App and give it  try.

It is always good practice to make a note of the serial numbers of your gear and this service aims not only to give you the ability to store your gear and serials online but also can be used to report stolen gear across the wider community.  Essentially Lenstag works by registering your gear and serial numbers to the site which you can do via the website directly or now even easier via the Smartphone App.  Once Lenstag receives your registered gear it verifies your ownership by matching the entered serial number against the picture of the serial number you have sent.  Apparently verification is completed by a human at the other end and Lenstag aim to complete the whole process within 24 hours.

The concept works by reporting your gear stolen with Lenstag along with the police if the worst should happen.  Lenstag maintain a list of stolen gear which you can check at anytime from the website.  But what happens if I want to legitimately sell some of my gear?  You would correctly assume that if another user attempts to register an item that is registered to another user there would be a few eyebrows raised!!! No worries…. Lenstag has this covered as you can transfer gear between registered users… bingo.

With support from US Lens rental behemoths BorrowLenses and LensRentals this new Service has all the makings of becoming an industry standard, but to do this WE ALL NEED TO USE IT.  The more of us photogs that register their gear the harder it will become for those dirty rotten thieves to ply their ill gotten gains on eBay, Craigslist etc.

So why not give it a try it is free and if you’re in the market for second-hand gear ask the seller for the serial number first and double check it on Lenstag before you are parted with that hard earned cash.

Note: I’m in no-way affiliated with Lenstag.com but think the concept is great.

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