So a couple of years ago some thieves broke into my F-150 (via a common security flaw in that year/model), stealing my GPS, DVD system, car stereo and a digital camera. A quick call to my insurance company took care of replacement of the stolen items; however, my following concern was the photos stored in my digital camera. Even though their intention was to sell the hard goods on the black market, these crooks now had photos of my family, home, etc. This was a little unsettling.
I filed a report with the local police department, which included serial numbers of the items, but even the police said it is very rare these types of items are ever recovered. After I thought a little more about the contents of the camera’s memory card, I concluded that there was really not enough in there at the time to worry. Further, there was nothing incredibly embarrassing portrayed that if released somewhere online, I would be force to change my name and move to Costa Rica. However, if there was a way to help track down my camera and recover my pics, I sure would have used it.
I recently came across an interesting website that may help folks in the same situation. It is called www.stolencamerafinder.com. This free service allows you to upload a photo taken on the misplaced camera and search online for any photos containing the same metadata. You may also input your camera’s serial number manually. The Metadata often contains the serial number of the camera the photo was taken from; therefore, if a thief snaps a pic with your camera and uploads a photo online, theoretically this service should find it. Possibly then leading you back to the perp.
I have not had the occasion to test this service extensively, so I welcome any feedback or success stories.
Alternatively, I also found a user-powered website called www.ifoundyourcamera.net. This site allows anyone to upload photos they have found, in hopes of finding and returning the photo to its rightful owner. Not as technical as the aforementioned, but noble none-the-less.
Keep following those virtual breadcrumbs. ~ The Hi-Tech P.I.