Oakland photographer robbed at gunpoint as she packed up her gear after a wedding

by Gannon Burgett

posted Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at 4:09 PM EST

This is the type of news you don’t ever want to hear about; especially the week before Christmas. While wrapping up and packing away the gear used for a wedding shoot, Oakland-based photographer Helene Paz was robbed, at gunpoint, of her gear.

As Paz and her husband were packing the gear into their car, three men approached them and three videographers from the wedding. With a gun to Paz’s head, the men went through everyone’s pockets, taking iPhones, camera gear and more as the stunned wedding party watched on helplessly.

Paz told Contra Costa Times:

‘We were wrapping up. I think they were watching us…just waiting for us to open up our cars. We were all kind of in shock.’

After the thieves had made off on foot, the police were called by one of the videographers. No description of the three men were given, for unknown reasons.

Later that day, a vehicle suspected to be linked to the robbery was found abandoned. None of the gear was found inside. The total estimate of equipment stolen is said to be valued around $13,500.

Paz and her husband have insurance on their gear, so they’re not too concerned about the cameras. They just hope to get the images back for the sake of the newlywed couple, who are now without any of their wedding images.

Police and Crime Stoppers are offering up to a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspects. They ask anyone with information to call police at 510–238–3326.