ENG Cage Designs New Camera Security in Vehicles


Well-known member
A camera safe is only going to deter a casual smash-n-grab thief. A pro could have the camera out of that thing in very short order.

I worked at one shop that used camera safes. The ones we had would have been easy to get into with nothing more than a crowbar. The lock was a simple mechanism that rotated a flat metal bar down into a slot. A crowbar inserted between the wall of the safe and the door next to the lock would effectively pop the lock loose from the wall of the safe and pull the door open. The steel of the safe wall was fairly sturdy, but not so sturdy that it would stand up against cleverly applied leverage.

It looks like these guys have thought of that and beefed up the lock a bit, especially with that layered hook mechanism instead of the plain flat bar. It also looks like the frame would give a lot less than the flat steel walls of the one I had.

So how would I get into this thing? I would take a saw to the hinges on the other side of the door. See the split where the top and bottom halves of the hinge meet? Saw through right there and you'll cut right through the little bolt inside, popping the door loose on the opposite side from the lock. Apply crowbar or large screwdriver and the door comes open. With the right tools I suspect a pro could have the camera out of there in under a minute.

Like I said, your garden variety smash-n-grabber isn't going to have the tools or the time to do that.

But think about last week when you were getting your gear out of the back in the Target parking lot for yet another economy story. Remember that viewer who came up and said, "Watch'all filmin'?" Then he tried to chat you up about his favorite anchor. Then he said, "I watch y'all ALL the TIME." He was a nice guy, although he was a typical dumb ol' boy viewer, right?

Wrong. He was casing your truck the entire time. He saw your setup. Since then he has discreetly followed you around a bit. The fact that you drive a marked truck made it much easier for him to follow you than for you to spot him. He's got a good idea of your routine.

Then today you leave your camera in the safe while you go inside a restaurant for lunch. It's safe in there, right? He knows the camera is in there, because he saw you go inside without it. Three minutes later your camera is gone. Twenty-seven minutes later you come outside to discover it. He's on the other side of town.

Will you put two and two together and remember the guy from Target last week? I doubt it. You've probably had that happen enough that you wouldn't even think about it. You probably didn't pay enough attention to the guy then to be able to describe him if you had remembered.

The thing that concerns me about these safes is that they tend to give photogs a false sense of security. We had guys who would leave their cameras in the safes when they went to lunch or ran errands. I've heard photogs say they leave their cameras in the safes at home, so that they could respond to breaking news quickly.

They're just begging for their cameras to be stolen.
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Well-known member
I know this is an almost 10-yr-old thread, but I was wondering: Since these camera cages came out in 2009, have there been any incidents where a photog had his camera secured in a cage or cabinet like that, and then someone just hotwired the news vehicle and drove away with it?