Originally Posted by djon
I keep an approx 18" cubical ice chest, blue and white, in my back seat. Cameras etc go in there, protected from heat and looking like something nobody want to steal...
You mean I haven't told you guys my bull-semen story?
It's true -- I ran across it on the incident report when I was working as a police reporter/photographer for a newspaper in western Iowa. Two guys were driving home from an auction in western Nebraska, where they had bought some pedigreed bull semen for use to artificially inseminate cows on their farms. Semen from a prize bull is valuable, and they had paid, if I recall correctly, about $2,000 for this batch.
The stuff also is perishable, so normally it's carried in a stainless-steel flask that looks a lot like a large old-fashioned Thermos(r) bottle. They had this flask in an ice chest that was locked in the toolbox of their pickup truck (the big, bolted-in, clamshell-type toolbox that a lot of farmers carry.)
Anyway, they had stopped off in our town for dinner at a truck-stop/bar and wound up being away from the truck for a couple of hours. When they came back, they found that the tool box had been broken open and the flask was gone. Because of the value of the stolen item, this qualified as a major felony theft, and the police worked pretty hard at investigating it -- but never made an arrest.
What got us all talking around the newsroom, though, was the "story behind the story." There were two working theories as to what lay behind this theft:
1) The men had been trailed across Nebraska by an organized gang of bull-semen thieves, who knew exactly what they had in the truck and bagged it as soon as the chance arose. Pre-natal cattle rustling, you might call it.
This didn't seem very likely, leading to the other theory:
2) It was simply an "opportunistic theft" by some bozos who had been cruising through parking lots looking to break into pickup-truck toolboxes (common crime in our town.) Once they got into this one, not finding any tools, they just grabbed the only thing in it -- the flask -- probably figuring that it was an ordinary Thermos.
The appealing thing about this theory was the thought that when the thieves stopped a few miles down the road for a coffee break, they got exactly what they deserved...
...anyway, the moral of this story is that people will steal anything. Keeping your camera gear in a cooler probably is a good idea just for insulation, but I'd still say lock it up out of sight.