Pawn shop workers thwart illegal sale, return Nikon taken from subway

by Liam McCabe

posted Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 10:01 AM EST


When a camera gets lost, it’s pretty unlikely it’ll be reunited with its rightful owner—doubly so if it’s “lost” on a crowded subway in the center of a major city. But here’s your daily dose of a happy ending, thanks to some pawn shop workers who went above and beyond.

WCVB reports that last weekend, a man walked into Empire Loan in Boston’s South End and tried to pawn a Nikon D3100. Michael Goldstein, who was working the shop at the time, asked him for some information on the camera. The man struggled to answer basic questions about the DSLR, and couldn’t even turn it on. He later admitted that he had found it on the Red Line of Boston’s subway system. Goldstein said that he’d need to file a missing item report, and the man bolted.

Michael Goldstein of Empire Loan in Boston found a way to return a lost camera to a family in Spain.

After finding photos of a family posing at famous locations up and down the east coast, Goldstein and his coworkers realized that the rightful owners would be looking for this camera. They found a lost-and-found claim on Craigslist matching the camera model, and the subway line on which it was found. Goldstein got in touch via email, and will be shipping the camera back to the family at their home in Madrid this week.

Lessons learned: Camera thieves aren’t always so clever. Post lost-and-found notices on Craigslist or similar sites. Get a card reader for your tablet or smartphone and use it to back up your photos while you’re on vacation—that way, if the camera gets swiped, at least you’ll still have your shots. And take a few basic protective steps for piece of mind, like insuring your gear. Ah yes, and be thankful for all the trustworthy people out there! Check out the video report at WCVB.

(Via WCVB Boston)