National News

$10K+ worth of camera equipment stolen from photographer at Lana'i Lookout

Posted June 27

— Thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment gone in a flash.

International wedding photographer Jenna Lee Mauro told KITV she was out at Lana'i lookout Thursday afternoon, shooting engagement photos, when her equipment was stolen just a few feet away her.

"I only had my back turned for at least 30 seconds," Mauro said. "I set my bags down over in this area over here.. pulled the drone out of my bag.. as I got down the cliff side a little ways, I heard my clients start yelling."

When Mauro turned around, she says she saw a man grab and run away with more than $10,000 worth of her gear.

"My livelihood was in those bags," she said. "It was a ton of Cannon gear.. couple of different 'L' series lenses, parts of my drone, drone batteries.. different camera flashes."

Mauro says she chased after the thief, but by the time she got up to the top of the cliff there was no sign of him.

Fortunately, her camera was harnessed on her at the time, and she did not lose any photos.

Still Mauro says she suffered a huge loss.

"That is gear that I have been accumulating over the past eight years, it's not something that happened overnight," she said. "You hear about smash and grabs on cars.. never had I thought someone would come up and grab my gear."

Other photographers out at Lana'i Lookout, on Monday, say they're shocked to hear about the theft.

"I would never guess that somebody would take our camera, by just setting it down about 10 feet away from us," Matt Polm said.

"I think people are starting to figure out that cameras are worth a lot and you can sell them pretty easily," BJ Yebisu, another photographer visiting from California added.

Mauro has been renting camera equipment to finish jobs already booked and says since posting about the theft on the Facebook page "Stolen Stolen Stuff Hawaii" she has received an outpour of support.

"So many members within the group.. have taken it upon themselves to go out and search Craigslist and do their own research and detective work," Mauro said. "I've had complete strangers offer to lend me their camera equipment for shoots."

Mauro says this incident is a reminder to be more mindful.

She warns others to always keep an eye on their equipment, keep it close by, and when possible shoot with a partner.

"We've definitely have received some strong leads regarding this case. I'm super confident that the perpetrator is going to be caught," Mauro said.

According to Mauro, her clients got a good look at the suspect before he ran off.

They described him as Caucasian, possibly in his 20s-30s, 5'10'' to 6' tall, short dark blonde hair and was last seen wearing a white/grey shirt with dark pants.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Honolulu Police Department.

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