WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A woman has been arrested after she brought equipment that was reported stolen from a Wichita photographer to a local camera shop to sell.
Roberto Gloria has received quite a bit of support from the community after more than $8,000 worth of camera equipment was stolen from him while on a photo shoot at Riverside Park in July.
On Saturday, employees at Moler’s Camera said a man and woman walked into the shop with a bag of equipment.
“They brought them in just a regular backpack without any protection on the lenses,” said Jesse McCullough, employee. “[They] unbagged them. They were dirty, but it was expensive, expensive gear. I could just tell it wasn’t quite right. I knew the moment I saw them that they were stolen.”
McCullough said he walked to the back of the store to call police to have the serial numbers checked. Just like he assumed, officers confirmed that the equipment was stolen.
Meanwhile, McCullough was messaging with Gloria to match a description of the gear that was stolen in July.
McCullough said the description matched perfectly and was a combination of lenses that he said is highly unlikely that anyone else has.
“I know how much those lenses cost,” said McCullough. “[Gloria] put in some hours to afford that gear.”
Police said 26-year-old Victoria Taylor was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property, possession of drug paraphernalia and outstanding warrants. The man who was with her was detained and questioned by officers.
“Every four to six months, about the same situation happens,” said McCullough.
The camera shop has worked closely with the Wichita Police Department to track serial numbers for stolen equipment.
Gloria said he plans to press charges and wants those responsible to learn a lesson.
He said he’s relieved to know he will soon be reunited with some of his gear.
“I’m just so happy that things went that way,” said Gloria. “When people do things like that, they think they’re going to fool everyone, but God is going to take care of that.”
Support from the community continues to pour in for Gloria. Some donations helped him purchase new equipment. He said he gets emotional just thinking about the generosity and support from others.
“Seeing how much it means for someone to see what I do, it makes me really happy,” said Gloria.
The passionate photographer said he’ll continue doing what he loves and will spread the joy he gets from taking photos with others.
“I’m going to go out there and take pictures again,” said Gloria.
Gloria said investigators told him this isn’t the first time a crime like this has happened. He said officers found other camera gear and a list of equipment in Taylor’s vehicle, leading them to think other thefts may have occurred.
McCullough wants thieves to know that stealing from photographer isn’t smart, and it’s likely you won’t get away with it.
“Stealing camera gear isn’t a great idea because everyone’s looking out for each other,” said McCullough.
If you have any information about the theft or know someone else who may be involved, contact Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111.