A while back, while he was on assignment for Getty Images, John Heller had $9000 worth of camera equipment stolen. Despite thinking he would never see his equipment again, he thought he would enter his stolen Nikon D3′s serial number into GadgetTrak‘s database to see if any photographs had been recently taken and posted online. To his delight, he found an exact match linked to some photographs that were posted on flickr. The equipment was eventually recovered from another photographer who had unknowingly bought the equipment (which included a receipt!). This is reportedly the first time stolen property has been recovered by tracking the serial number embedded into photographs.
With the help of police, Heller was able to track the images to another professional photographer through Facebook, who had unknowingly purchased the stolen camera from an individual and even had the receipt to prove it. The camera was returned to Heller and the police are currently investigating the individual whom it was purchased from, the investigation is still ongoing…
…We have also learned that thanks to this recovery, the LAPD is now recommending our tool to detectives and officers in the field. – GadgetTrak