Motel burglar steals $9000 in photo gear

Tuesday March 05, 2019 Written by Published in Crime
Motel burglar steals $9000 in photo gear

A furious foreign worker is warning tourists to be very careful about leaving valuables in their rooms on Rarotonga.


The photographer had thousands of dollars’ worth of camera gear stolen when a burglar broke into his unit in Tupapa on Friday night.

He had left the equipment there while he went to the airport to farewell his wife.

Upon his return a couple of hours later he noticed a glass louvre on an angle but thought little more of it until he discovered his main camera and two lenses were no longer there. The next morning he realised a third lens had also been taken. The thief also got away with bottles of alcohol.

“I am furious on a number of levels,” he told the CI News. “Firstly my camera gear is gone. It took me a long time to build my gear up and now some low-life has nicked it.

“Secondly my room has been invaded. That really, really angers me. Yes, it is disconcerting, but I’m more holding my rage back than being worried by it.

“Lastly someone has clearly been watching what I have been doing and that pisses me off even more.”

He said he has travelled all over the world with his equipment – including a number of Pacific countries – and he has never had a problem before.

“It doesn’t reflect well on the Cook Islands.”

The missing gear includes a Canon 5D MkIII, a Canon 17-40mm lens, a Canon 24-105mm lens and a Tamron 150-600mm telephoto lens.

The equipment is valued at about $9000, but the victim says the thief will not have a market for it on the island. 

“It is professional Canon equipment and will stick out if anyone other than a pro brings it out in public on Rarotonga.

Police are investigating the crime.  

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