In August of 2014 my Bartech and motor was stolen out of my car. Coming home from an overnight thought I pulled everything out but it was in the floorboard half covered by a jacket if I remember correctly. No signs of break in. 1.5 days later I'm prepping for a shoot and I can't find my bartech anywhere. I was chatting with my mom at the time and she heard every word I knew after I realized what had happened. I had to leave town for a couple weeks on a shoot. When I got back I stopped by my local pawn shop in Echo Park. I showed them a picture of the bartech and they said a couple of shady guys tried to sell it but he thought it looked hot. Surveillance video is erased every 5 days so no pics of the bad guys.
I filed a police report. Contacted Jim Bartell to let him know it was stolen. Checked ebay, craigslist, reduser etc almost every day. Then last week I got an email from Jim and Thomas Crescenzo. Thomas found a bartech on Ebay being sold through a pawn shop in echo park and asked for the serial number. He asked Jim about the history and then they both contacted me. I called the cops. They went and picked it up and it was all there. Its now in processing and should have it back in a week or so. It was the first time I have ever left any gear in my car.
I didn't put out any alerts because I knew it would eventually have to show up online and I didn't want to scare anyone off from putting it up. Just told Jim about it. The pawn shop is supposed to give a list of the serial numbers and items it buys to the police. They did not do this for this item. Also they listed it deceptively by splitting up the package and removing identifying markers on the bartech.
This thing was on ebay for a few hours before someone from this community helped me track down my gear. If you see Thomas out and about buy him a beer or a lapdance. I will reimburse you for it. Also friends and other ops have been very generous with loaning me gear during this time. And to think these are my competitors. Its been a pretty eye opening experience for me. Of all the jerks who make money by stealing people's tools there are multitudes of honest and awesome people out there.
Thanks everyone for the help and support.