Getting your camera gear stolen is one of the worst feelings in the world. The truth is that many of us can not afford insurance on our gear, and thus if its stolen the buck stops at us and replacement is all out of pocket. A new website called LensTag is looking to help put an end to easy gear theft by assembling a large database of gear and who owns it.
The concept is simple, keep an up to date list of your gear on their website and if your gear is stolen you can report it as such. Most of us photographers keep a list of our gear and serial numbers somewhere anyways so why not there? The key to this being effective though is that when you report a piece of gear missing be it a lens or a camera it gets added to Google Search, so if someone searches the serial number they will see that it is stolen.
The other thing that LensTag is doing is it has partnered with sites such as BorrowLenses.com and LensRentals, and they hope to work with Pawnshops and eventually law enforcement. The idea is that when people check the serial numbers of the gear they are buying and see that its stolen it will make it harder for thieves to sell the gear.
Obviously the fatal flaw here is that not everyone has the best moral compass, and so some still buy items even with the knowledge that it had been stolen. But the majority of us have the mind to know its wrong, and leave stolen gear alone. Even report the incident to the police if you can point them to where the stolen gear is or who has it.
You can sign up for a free account at Lenstag.com, it is completely free to use and only takes a few moments to add your gear. All gear serial numbers must be verified, meaning you must take a picture of the serial number, or warranty card or some other document to prove the gear is your and in your possession. This can take up to a day or two for the staff to verify, but once verified you are in business.
What are your thoughts on LensTag? If this can become widely used will it put a dent in gear theft? Let us know in a comment below!