Camera Security Using Camera Security Straps
When traveling overseas and you visit locations know as “tourist hot spots” you often hear sometimes about “cameras snatches,” or “cut and run” camera thefts. If you wanted to know more about the subject, along with what you can do to protect your camera gear from these types of thefts – this should give you a basic understanding of the subject.
While traveling may people take cameras – obvious. However in some of the most beautiful places in the world that we travel to visit these locations – they are frequently found on fringe areas of cities (areas that are depressed lower socioeconomic) and many times attract a criminal element that prey on tourists. What many photographers forget to consider is that many of these types of theft occur right in our own cities – the thefts are just done a little different. Either way, we need to understand the vulnerability to camera gear in these situations – and more importantly, how to protect it from these types of thefts.
Camera Snatchers and Cut and Run Thefts
Many travelers are aware that crowded tourists destinations are popular with pickpockets and other related thieves, however when it comes to camera snatches and cut and run thefts, we start to not know much about how they operate.
Typically, these Camera Snatchers are thieves who lurk in crowed areas, looking for people to set cameras, and or camera bags down on the ground, park bench, or street café chair next to themselves. These thieves will work by themselves, or in groups. Typically when operating in groups, the thieves will be young teens – ranging from 10 to 23 years of age. Many travelers relate these groups to so called “Gypsy Thieves” “Gypsy Children” or the “Roma” (short for people who come from Romania). Don’t kid yourselves, any group from any walk of life, no mater what color of skin, or what country for that matter can have a thieving heart.
When these groups operate, they look for the magical moment when you set your camera down because you are arranging something, taking a break, or simply having lunch and place your camera on the empty seat next to you. At that magical moment (as thieves call it), one of the thieves will distract you - getting you to turn your attention away from your camera. As you and your travel mate are engaged in a conversation regarding how to find the subway, asking for directions, or some other distracting conversation, the other thief simply walks away with your camera or bag. By the time the first thief leaves, you are not even aware that your camera is gone. By the time you do, the camera is in the wind, the term camera snatchers.
These thefts can occur anywhere. I recall a case that I investigated in which a professional photographer was shooting a band in a night club. While she was shooting at the end of the event, she had set her camera bag down on a chair next to her while she was trying to get some final shots. The bag carried several of her camera lenses and memory cards containing over 300 photos she had shot during the event. While she was preoccupied with the shoot, someone simply lifted the bag and walked away with over $4,000 worth of camera gear, but it was not the value of the camera, it was the value of the photos shot during the entire evening. They were lost, never to be seen again.
Other variations of this crime occur from other simple forms of distraction, to out right physical thefts. One that comes to mind is a case where some teenager in Rome targeted a traveler who was walking down the street with their camera slung over their shoulder. The teen (probably a 16-year old track) ran up behind the traveler, yanked the camera strap off their shoulder and fled. It’s pretty hard to chase a 16-year old at night in a foreign city.
The end of this story has some samples of camera security items that can be added as a security layer to prevent these types of thefts.
Watch a quick video on a Camera Security Strap - the PacSafe CarrySafe 100 - Click below photograph
Cut and Run thefts are a similar variation
Cut and Run thefts usually occur on crowded subway, subway or train platforms, on buses, or other highly pedestrian condensed locations where other people as crowded up against you at all angles. Like in the previous demonstration, several thieves may surround you, all pretending to be other train travelers; however they do not acknowledge that they know each other. As you begin to walk on or off a train in a sea of people, you become jostled by several of your fellow passengers – a natural occurrence. At that “magical moment” one of people behind you is a thief and cuts the strap of your camera. The thief supports the camera from behind so you do not feel it falling and lets your forward motion allow the camera to remain in his hands. This sounds tricky; however it is a craft that profession thieves have honed their skill over the years.
However many times you end up losing your expensive cameras out. Many times you begin your traveling with a very happy note, but it all ends up in rather unpleasant one. Your traveling/ vacation gets loused up by the theft of you camera!
Several times you fall upon camera gear theft accounts in newspapers. The professional photographers today are more mobile than ever before. They usually travel taking their complete photography paraphernalia with them. Many times these professional leave their camera gears in their vehicles, or in the trunks of their cars when they are out to have lunch, or sightseeing, but the get stupefied when they come back and find their vehicles/cars broken open and their camera gear stolen.
Another instance I investigated involved a case where a tourist was eating at a beach café on the boardwalk. The victim, who had a his high-end digital camera with 4 gig memory card full of his family’s photographs, reported that he just set his camera on the chair next to him. Suddenly his attention was distracted by some of the boardwalks local flavor who were was juggling bowling balls. As the victim turned back, his camera, with all the photos of their tip were history – never to be seen from again.
Camera Strap Security Solutions
We have all heard of traveler falling victims to the unpleasant happenings of camera thefts that surely spoil vacations. These thefts hurt you financially as well as emotionally, and let’s not even take into account photographers who are emotionally attached to their gear that has been with them for years.
It is obvious that one of the first things we should consider is using a reliable camera strap, and to keep your camera with you whenever possible. But is this really practical? I don’t think so. We will always come across a situation where you will have to set your gear down, or carry it in crowded locations. That’s where you be aware of the various camera security straps on the market that provide extra layers of protections.
Camera security straps look and feel like regular camera straps. What makes them different from the rest is that the straps have steel cables woven into the straps them selves.
Additionally, security camera straps have security clips so if you set a camera down for a oment, you can use the built in security carabineer to secure it to a chair or other stationary device.
Camera security straps come in a number of styles and sizes. The most secure camera security straps recently released on the market include the folowing are a sample of just a few.
The Pacsafe CarrySafe 100 is security camera neck strap that combines comfort and two anti-theft security features to help you provide security for your camera, camcorder, or binoculars from “cut and run” thefts. The CarrySafe 100 is soft cushioned strap with breathable neck pad. The primary security feature of the CarrySafe 100 is the two slash-proof, high tensile stainless steel wires running through the length of the strap. This protects the strap from being cut by thieves who specialize in “slash and run thefts”.
The steel wires are 1.5 mm 7x7 high-tensile stainless steel wire (seven strands and each strand comprises of seven wires) and are woven between the top and bottom layers of the straps outer material.
The steel wire is strong, but flexible enough so that they are not detectable when worn.
The CarrySafe 100 security camera strap is fully adjustable and can be expanded to 60 inches in length.
The strap material is made from a combination of durable black nylon which is soft to the touch. The snatch-proof mechanism allows strap to be clipped around secure fixtures.
The strap has universal webbing connectors that fit to most cameras and binoculars.
The user friendly disconnects allow the strap to be quickly clipped to camera case without removing the webbing from the camera.
The CarrySafe 200 is longer and more heavy-duty version of the CarrySafe 100. The CarrySafe 200 is a heavy duty security camera neck strap that combines comfort and two anti-theft security features to help you provide security for your camera, camcorder, or binoculars from “cut and run” thefts
The PacSafe CarrySafe 300 is the only heavy duty anti theft shoulder strap on the market today. It is used to replace the carry strap on your existing camera, computer, or other portable carry bag. The strap converts your existing camera-bag’s or laptop-bag’s carry strap into a high security, slash proof strap. This security strap allows you to lock shut your bag's zippers and secure the entire bag to a stationary fixture. There is no other parallel on the market today that can provide the security features parallel to the CarrySafe 300.
The PacSafe CarrySafe 300 is security replacement strap that works very well with the bags with detachable shoulder or carry straps. The CarrySafe 300's strap has a built-in 3 dial metal combination lock that is permanently attached to the strap with a steel "D" ring.
The strap lock uses the carabineer type locking device that facilitates to pass the strap around or through a secure item such as a chair, pole, car seat track, and some fixture in trunk.
The strap will not allow anybody pick up your bag easily without unlocking the lock. You can use the CarrySafe 300 strap for your camera gear bags or other luggage bags in your cars/vehicles and in your hotel rooms as well.
Another good thing about the CarrySafe 300 is that it doesn’t allow anyone to simply unzip and remove the contents of your bag. It is the only replacement shoulder strap that has the patented "zipper security lock" feature.
The CarrySafe 300 has a steel wire cables woven into each side of the CarrySafe straps. The cables are woven into the entire length of the straps, on both sides. These steel wires provide your bags greater security from cut and run thefts. Additionally, these straps provide extra strength and support of the items being carried in the bag.
The slash proof adjustable snatch proof CarrySafe 300 shoulder strap with tamperproof lockable, integrated high-tensile wire, with built-in combination lock, anchors your attached gear to a secure fixture but locks it there. The shoulder strap is the best to provide security for your camera gear, or bag from “cut and run” thefts. The strap is fabricated from nylon, high-tensile stainless steel wire.
Other Camera Security Devices
You will find a whole new line of other unique camera security products on the markets today. These products range from other versions of camera security straps, to camera security backpacks, duffel bags, to wire mesh covers that protect your camera from being removed from your bag if left unattended in your office, hotel, or vehicle.
A company called Daymakers of Santa Barbara was the first to come out with the camera security strap concept. They call their straps City Straps. They are well made and provide very similar security features to the PacSafe CarrySafe models.
The above photograph shows how the security strap is looped through a chair back to avoid snatch and grab thefts
Camera Bag Thefts and Camera Strap Cutters - An International Theft ProblemTypically, thieves who specialize in cutting the straps of camera or bag straps occur in international destinations, and have not been a very big problem in the United States. But travel to parts of South America, Africa, Europe, or Asia, you you might just come up against bold street thieves who have honed their craft of cutting the rear straps of bags slung over the shoulder of unsuspecting travelers.
Many of the thieves (known in law enforcement circles at "bag cutters") who specialize in this type of theft are keenly aware that most camera, purse and bag are secured with think leather or nylon webbing. These young and agile street thieves have perfected their skills of simply walking up behind a traveler and quickly cutting the strap from behind, or firmly yanking down on it, causing the flimsy strap to quickly break. The thief then makes a quick get-a-way.
Solution - Cut Resistant Straps Steel Cable Camera Security StrapsThe Security Camera Strap provide a valuable alternative to help you keep street thieves from getting their hands on your belongings!
The Security Camera Strap is cut-resistant so the thieve cannot easily cut the strap or cause the strap to break. The below is a photo of the strap, cut open, to show one of the steel strands sewn into the strap.
Each strap has contains a pair of braided, 1/16 inch stainless-steel flexi-cables that are sewn into the entire length of the Security Camera Strap. This features makes the strap slice resistant for even the most determined street thief. For demonstration purposes, the below photo shows a pair of the steel cables have been laid across the strap. Of course these wires are not exposed, they are sewn into the strap and hidden.
Camera Strap Security Adapters
Each Security Strap includes two special adapters that allow the Security Strap™ to attach to any item that has small loops (Cameras, camcorders, and binoculars). The special adapters are located on each end of the strap.
The first adapter is a 3/4 inch metal, chrome plated, continuous loop, "O" ring. This adapter allows the strap to be secured to a device which has any type of spring clip which would allow you to insert in the "O" ring adapter. Attached to the "O" ring is an adjustable adapter that allows you to secure your device to the security strap.
This adapter is approximately 1/2 inch in width and 4 inches in length. The adapter is adjustable and includes a tension device to keep the adapter secure.
These adapters are designed to fit many different electronic items.
It will fit many, if not all digital and film cameras, camcorders, MP3 players, binoculars, and other items which features a loop for a external strap.
The second special adapter is a permanently heavy duty metal swivel clips which resemble an oval carabineer.
This adapter is the opposite of the one previously listed. It is designed for a bag which has a permanently affixed loop or hook which cannot be opened.
This adaptor's ergonomic design translates into lightning fast clip-ability.
You simply push the top half of the carabineer gate around the strap on your bag making a secure connection.
This adapter also features a 360 degree swivel, allowing your bag and strap to move with your body movements.
Special Camera Security Sleeves
To increase security further, the end of each strap has a 5 inch long microfiber sleeve which slides over the adapters.
This sleeve keeps the adapters out of view and touch of the prying fingers of a more determined thief. These special sleeves are movable, or removable if needed.
The above photograph shows the security sleeve pulled up to expose the camera locking clip
The above photo shows the same security sleeve, but this time slid down over the camera locking clips so they are protected from sneak thievesDayMakers has developed two camera security straps. Both are identical in features and only differ in length. To view each of these straps visit these pages: Security Shoulder Strap, 1 1/4" wide Model CM2005B-70 (which has a length of 68 inches long)
Camera Security Bags
Now that you have a good understanding of the various types of camera security straps, you should know that you have several camera security bags that can be locked down in your back for trunk, hotel room, or other non-secure location. To read more information about these types of bags, visit the camera security page at www.corporatetravelsafety.com.
A final, very important thought to end with is that any security device should always be considered as a layer of security. These products are designed to stop the casual thief – hopefully enough to frustrate them so they will move on to someone else, At least now we have other options available to help keep expensive camera gear and precious memories from falling into someone else's hands.
To see a range of camera security products, including camera security straps, security bags, and other unique mobile security devices discussed in this article, visit a company called Corporate Travel Safety.com Camera Security Products page.
Other Camera Security Items
Camera Security Bags, Straps & Accessories
Protect your memories and photo gear. Photographic equipment is one of the most frequently stolen or lost items reported by travelers. These various camera security options provide peace of mind so you can enjoy your travels a bit more relaxed.
Pacsafe TravelSafe 100
BEST SELLING portable safe. Steel mesh embedded cut proof bag. Locks to fixed item with heavy duty steel cable. Hotel, dorm, car, office, home. More detail...
Pacsafe TravelSafe 20L Portable Safe
A portable safe with a steel flex-cage to protect your laptop, electronics, camera gear, or work files. Secure your items in the bag then lock it to a secure fixture. Folds flat. More detail...
Pacsafe DuffelSafe 100
Our largest bag. A high-security duffel bag with 3 anti-theft features and multiple carrying options. Protect larger valuables, cameras, laptops, dive gear. More detail...
PacSafe DaySafe 200
DaySafe 200 has an inner safe which locks closed and locks to a secure fixture. Remove it and use the safe and pack independently. Largest security pack. More detail...
Pacsafe Camera Insert for DaySafe 200
A padded camera protection module. Designed as an insert option for the DaySafe 200 backpack. Use in any other bag or backpack also. More detail...
PacSafe DaySafe 100
A pack with an inner security compartment inside which locks closed and locks to a secure fixture. Slashproof, snatchproof and tamperproof. More detail...
CamSafe 100 Camera Security Bag
The CamSafe Camera bag offers comfort, practicality, and security. Built in slash guard panels, tamper-proof zippers, and snatch-proof shoulder strap. Black or Olive. More detail...
CamSafe 200 Security Camera Bag
The CamSafe 200 offers comfort, practicality, and security. Larger than the CamSafe 100. Built in â€œslashguardâ€ panels, tamper-proof zippers, & snatch-proof shoulder strap. Black or Olive. More detail...
DuffelSafe Camera Insert
The DuffelSafe Camera Insert is a must-have for providing protection for camera gear inside your DuffelSafe. 11 fully-padded adjustable compartments. More detail...
CarrySafe 100, Camera Security Strap
A camera security neck strap that combines comfort and two anti-theft features to protect from cut and run thefts. Attach to cameras, camcorders, or binoculars. More detail...
CarrySafe 200, Secure Shoulder Strap
Security STRAP for your camera bag or laptop bag. A comfortable non-slip, anti-theft shoulder strap with 2 security features to protect your gear bag. More detail...
Carrysafe 300 lockable Shoulder Strap
CarrySafe 300 is an anti-theft shoulder strap that replaces your existing strap on your bag. This strap locks your bag closed and locks it to a secure fixture. Built-in 3-dial combination lock. More detail...
AquaPac 404 Waterproof Point & Shoot Camera Case
Protect your camera from sand, water and weather. You can even take pictures underwater, case is 100% waterproof up to 15 feet. Specifically for point and shoot cameras without a zoom lens. More detail...
AquaPac 420 Waterproof Camera Case w/Hard Lens
Protect your camera from sand, water and weather. You can even take pictures underwater, case is 100% waterproof up to 15 feet. Specifically for point and shoot cameras WITH a zoom lens. More detail...
QuickPod Travel Tripod
A telescoping handheld travel tripod that lets you include yourself in photos and videos. Attaches to your camera and lets you take a self-portrait. Self standing leg adapter included! More detail...
PacSafe InnerSafe 19L
Large portable safe which can be used in existing daypacks. Bag features EXomesh steel cage and security cable which prevents bag from being entered or stolen. Folds flat. More detail...
Lock Alarm with 8 Foot Cable
Send theives running. Lock up your valuable camera gear bags or other larger items. 8 ft steel cable has 120 decibel alarm which sounds if cable or lock is tampered with or cut. More detail...
Lock Alarm Mini - 2 ft cable
A loud alarm warns you if someone is trying to steal your camera, gear. 2 ft retractable cable with alarm sounds if cable or lock is tampered with. More detail...
ProSafe 550 Dial Combination Lock with LED
The PacSafe Pro Safe 550 Secure Carabiner Combo Lock with LED is perfect for securing your gear while on a backpacking trip or traveling abroad. Its carabiner design allows you lock anything you can clip to it and a fixed object. More detail...
SearchAlert Heavy-Duty TSA Case Lock
The SearchAlert TSA Heavy-Duty Case Lock secures equipment cases, like Pelican, for air travel which demand strong thicker shanks for security. More detail...
Camera Insert for DaySafe 200
The CamSafe Camera Insert is a padded camera protection module. Designed as an insert option for the DaySafe 200 backpack, it can be also used in any other bag or backpack. More detail...
Waterproof Bag & Waistpack by Aloksak
Keeps valuables dry and safe. Waterproof & dustproof bag with waistpack. Go swimming, boating, etc. while protecting them. Navy Tested! Two Sizes. More detail...
Security Shoulder Strap, 1 1/4" wide
Need a strap which can fit on a camera or a bag? This steel wire reinforced strap thwarts cut n thieves and has adapters to fit both. This strap adjusts up to 54" long More detail...
Security Shoulder Strap Extra-Long
Extra long security strap - up to 68" inches. Designed for camera bags, luggage etc. Steel wire reinforcement thwarts cut n run thieves. 2 styles of adapters included. More detail...
Pacsafe MetroSafe 200
Hip Pack or Shoulder Bag! The MetroSafe 200 can be worn either way. An urban security travel bag great for cameras. Black, brown, or forest green. More detail...
PacSafe 55-Backpack Security System
The smallest of the 4 pack security systems. It's a steel mesh security net which wraps smaller daypacks & luggage items. Also secures bag to a fixed item. More detail...
PacSafe 85 Backpack Security System
The PacSafe 85, is a medium sized backpack security systems. It guards medium packs, duffel bags, and soft sided wheeled luggage with a mesh steel wrap. More detail...
Pacsafe 120 Pack & Bag Security System
The Pacsafe 120 secures your bag/pack to stationary items and envelops it with a steel security net. Fits most larger packs, dufflels, and soft sided wheeled luggage. More detail...
PacSafe 140 Backpack Security System
The PacSafe 140 is the largest steel mesh security system for extra large bags, dufflels or dive bags. Adapts to soft sided and wheeled luggage. More detail...
To see a complete selection or to order any of these camera security products, visit