Movie equipment stores suffer $1 million loss from thefts

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- It's a crime straight out of the movies.

Joel Deutsch, owner of Evidence Camera Rental, said a man posing as a client rented over $300,000 worth of camera equipment last Thursday and never returned it.

"This must have been some sort of an inside job," said Deutsch. "This is someone who did their research. They knew to get the proper paperwork including to buy insurance."

According to Deutsch, the man claimed he was shooting a music video and needed cameras, lighting and lenses. However, the deposit check bounced, and the equipment was never returned.

"They stole about $1 million worth of equipment between the three companies," said Deutsch.

Evidence Camera Rental is not the only business missing equipment. Charome Kaocharoen, owner of On The Mark Media LLC, believes the same man pulled the same stunt on his rental business the day after Deutsch said he was hit.

"We're probably looking at minimum a quarter million collectively with sub-rentals and my equipment," he said.

A third rental business, Heywhatsyourface Inc., said it was also hit by the same individual an hour after On The Mark Media. The three businesses claim they lost a million dollars in gear.

"We will probably have to shut our door and liquidate equipment and I'll probably have to lay off everyone and pay off debts," said Kaocharoen.

Both L.A. and Pasadena police are investigating the equipment thefts.

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