An Annapolis photographer had nearly $21,000 in camera equipment stolen from her home while she was on vacation, according to city police.
Wendy Hickok, of Wendy Hickok Photography, told police that she left her home in the 1700 block of Nimitz Drive around 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve. She came home on Sunday around 6 p.m. and told police that she noticed her mail was scattered on her front doormat.
When she went inside her house, she noticed her kitchen drawers were open, her back door was open and all of her camera equipment was gone.
"They didn't just steal stuff; they stole my livelihood," Hickok said. "They could have taken anything else in the house, and I would have been fine with it."
But the upstairs area appeared untouched.
The only other item missing was a bottle of vanilla vodka, Hickok said.
"They also took time to look at some albums, which was strange," Hickok said. "I hope they liked my images while they had a drink at my expense."
Police said it looked like a pair of gardening shears from her outside storage shed was used to pry open the rear patio door. Officers dusted for prints, but with the recent snow and rain, they were unable to recover anything.
"It leaves me confused about humanity and wondering why a person feels like they have the right to just take something I worked so hard for," Hickok said. "The gear is my livelihood, and for someone to violate my home to take away the equipment I have spent the past ten years investing in for my business really hurts."
Hickok started her wedding photography business more than 10 years ago, and moved to Annapolis in 2007. She shoots 30 to 40 weddings per year, but has also expanded to photographing children, expectant mothers and family portraits.
She does have insurance, but she said it will take weeks to sort through all the paperwork. Thankfully she's received an outpouring of support from photographers willing to loan her their gear during the interim.
She also only had insurance on her cameras and lenses. She said she will spend at least $3,000 replacing her bags, memory cards and other gear.
"Small business owners, especially photographers, can't take a hit like this without insurance," Hickok said. "If a new photographer only had one camera setup, no insurance, and no way to buy another one, it is possible their business would be over."
Hickok is trying to remain upbeat, noting that this is the ideal time for her business to be robbed. The bulk of her work happens during the spring and summer.
"I'm not going to let this get me or my business down," Hickok said. "I am going to think of it as a fresh start, and if I get my gear back, I can create more wedding memories with them."
Here is a list provided by Hickok of the gear with their serial numbers:
- Canon 20 D 1520900755
- Canon 5 D 212321200842
- Canon 5 D 212721200402
- Canon 5 D Mark 2 210920304199
- Canon 24-105 Macro Lens 01145844
- Canon 50 mm Lens 25901263
- Canon 17-85 Wide Angle Lens 00528715
- Canon 85 Prime Len 2100038572
- Canon Macro 100 2.8 1720790
- 580 Canon Flash EX 435120
- 580 Canon Flash EX II 034873
- Turbo 2x2 Battery Q029B029
- Think Tank camera bag
- All of her CF cards (about 128 Gigs worth of memory)
- All of her rechargeable Enloop batteries
- Camera cleaning supplies
- 2 pocket wizards
- Some camera chargers and batteries
- Rain camera gear
- Remotes for photo booth