Thoughts on Travel, Photography and Life from Ian Lloyd

St. Petersburg - Stop Thief!

I had been warned. Coming to a bottle neck in a street opposite the famous onion domed Church on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg Russia, I was suddenly accosted by two young men trying to sell me postcards and blocking my path. I was carrying two cameras but I was aware this could be a dangerous situation so I had my hands firmly on each camera body. Sensing something might be amiss, I  headed off quickly in the opposite direction. The whole transaction took about ten seconds and when I lifted one of my camera bodies I realised a lens had been stolen without me knowing. In the space of a couple of seconds the thieves had pushed in a release button and removed the lens from beneath my hand on the camera body and made off with it into the crowd. The whole operation had been so swift and fast that I had to grudgingly admire their professionalism. Reporting the theft to the police proved an impossibility as special tourist services who could have helped me make a report in Russian were closed for a long holiday weekend. In the end I got a letter from my hotel for insurance purposes and decided to replace the lens in Finland. I think the thieves probably had my $1000 lens up for sale on eBay within the hour. A couple of months later with my insurance money in hand, I saw the thieves technique captured on a YouTube video by a tourist bus camera. Travellers to Russia beware!



by Ian Lloyd