News Production & Post

Thieves get Creative in £1m camera heist

21 February 2012

The broadcast reseller, CVP (Creative Video) became the victim of one of the industry’s largest thefts last weekend when a substantial quantity of cameras, camcorders, lenses and ancillaries with a street value of around £1million was stolen from its west London warehouse, writes David Fox. As one of Europe’s largest dealers, it says the theft will have minimal impact on its ability to fulfil orders, but in response to the robbery it has set up a Stolen Equipment Register that is open to anyone in the industry to report stolen items. The thieves got away with lots of cameras, including 34 Canon XF305 camcorders and six XF300s, 32 Canon XF105s, plus five of the latest Canon EOS C300 EF models (pictured at a CVP Open Day). 

Sony cameras stolen include nine large sensor PMW-F3L models, two PDW-700 XDCAM HD camcorders (worth about £22,000 each), six PMW-EX1Rs and two EX3s, six NEX-FS100s, and 16 low-end Sony camcorders (Z5/Z7/NX5). Also stolen were data storage systems, a Sony matrix switcher, 11 OLED field monitors, a Sennheiser radio microphone, and a couple of used Betacam SP decks. Some equipment, such as the four Sony HKSR-5804 Network Interface cards for the SRW-5800 HDCAM SR deck, the six Sony HDVF-20A CRT HD viewfinders for HDCAM camcorders and HDC-1500 series camera heads and ten CBK-VF01 viewfinders for PMW-500, PMW-350 & PMW-320 camcorders, would only be useful to broadcasters and have a very limited market. “If the goods aren’t recovered by the police then it is very likely that this equipment will end up on the open market,” the company wrote in its blog. “To help safeguard our customers (and competitors) from the associated risks we have today launched an on-line Stolen Equipment Register where you can easily enter a serial number and ascertain whether it’s been stolen from us or reported as stolen from elsewhere.”  It stated that: “the effect on our ability to fulfil orders is minimal as we are already working closely with our key partners to replenish ‘lost’ stock on an accelerated basis.” One of its staff added: “We are fortunate that CVP is strong and can deal with the theft without business interruption, however our main concern is to try and mitigate our insurer’s potential losses and increased premiums for our sector by doing whatever we can to aid recovery of the stolen goods.” CVP employs more than 70 staff at six locations and has annual sales of more than £34m, generating a pre-tax profit of over £2.5m. Its recent contracts include the renewal and support of the BBC’s entire fleet of journalism cameras.

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