Daredevil urbex photographer captured photos with $15K of stolen gear

by Gannon Burgett

posted Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 10:02 AM EDT

[Editor's update November 2017: Bryce Wilson has now reformed his life and is a combat photographer in the Ukraine. He has freely admitted wrongdoing for past actions and has turned his life into positive pursuits and positive missions with his photography. We wish him the best and salute everyone with the courage to turn past mistakes into future positives.]

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It’s never a good idea to go atop tall buildings, most of which are covered in ‘No Trespassing’ signs, in an effort to capture daredevil photographs that you share with the world across social media. What’s even worse of an idea is to do it all with stolen gear.

But that’s exactly what Melbourne photographer Bryce Wilson had done, before he plead guilty to burglary charges pertaining to the theft of $15,000 worth of Canon camera gear from fellow Melbourne photographer Jon Grundy.

The details of this case are only now coming to light after Grundy decided to publish the cases’ files when he realized Wilson was desperate to gain as much attention as possible from the case.

According to a report from Daily Mail, Wilson and Grundy first came in contact with one another after Wilson inquired about purchasing two Canon lenses Grundy had put up for sale last year. According to Grundy, Wilson cancelled his decision to purchase the camera lenses, due to not being able to afford the gear, but not before Grundy had given Wilson his address to meet him at.

Three days after Wilson and Grundy’s last exchange, Grundy’s wife came home and realized their home had been broken into. As you can probably guess, every piece of camera gear Grundy owned had been taken — jewelry, computers and other high-value products were left behind.

It appears Grundy immediately had his suspicions that it was Wilson, but Melbourne police were unable to obtain a warrant to search of Wilson’s home, as there was no evidence.

Thankfully, for Grundy, it wasn’t long before Wilson sealed his own fate when a man who was collaborating with Wilson realized the RAW files taken with Wilson’s ‘new’ Canon 5D camera were showing Grundy’s name in the metadata.

A since-deleted Instagram post from Wilson showing off his 'new' 5D Mark III and 35mm f/1.4 lens

When the man collaborating with Wilson inquired as to how he obtained the gear, Wilson ‘joked’ that he had stolen it. It wasn’t long before Grundy had received an email from said individual, explaining he had found Grundy’s name all over the copyright metadata of the camera files.

This evidence was enough for police to obtain a search warrant, where they promptly found all $15,000 worth of gear Wilson had stolen. On October 16th, Wilson was formally charged with burglary and handling stolen goods.

A collection of Wilson's work from his Instagram account.

Wilson has received 12 months of community service for the charges, which he has plead guilty to. In an official statement to Daily Mail, Wilson said:

‘I made a sincerely regrettable mistake, one for which I am sorry. I cooperated with police enquiries, assisted them in recovering the proper, and fulfilled all of my legal obligations, including bail conditions and paying my own legal costs’.

This wasn’t his first run-in with the law though. For his ‘Spiderman’ antics, which gained him viral fame last year, he was charged with trespassing after posting a video of himself hanging from a construction crane.

Since Daily Mail published the article detailing the case, Wilson has taken to Twitter to chastise Grundy for givingDaily Mail the details for a ‘malicious attack’ on Wilson, who claims to be an ‘afflicted victim’, as seen in the stream of tweets screencapped below.

Image credits: Screencaps via Bryce Wilson's Instagram account