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Photo studio robbery loss at $45,000; Hong Kong has $4K window damage
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It was a pensive moment for Manteca photographer Jake Jacobs when he drove up to his front door at 295 Spreckels Avenue to find a front windowthe front door of his studio smashed by burglars and a treasure in photography equipment taken during the night. - photo by GLENN KAHL

A total of $45,000 in Nikon cameras, lenses and flash units were stolen during a nighttime burglary at the Sunset Studio in the shopping center on Spreckels Avenue just across the street from the Target store.

Jake Jacobs and his wife had driven up to the front of their commercial photography studio at about 8:15 Tuesday morning to find a six-foot-wide tempered glass front window had been smashed out. They feared the worst when they entered their front lobby.

The photographer said he had been “on top of the world” on Monday because he had put a team together comprised of two hair stylists, a makeup artist, a videographer and himself to photograph a series of five models for casting calls for two magazine presentations.

“I was just in hog heaven,” he said, “and we come in this morning to find this.”

He said it was the answer to a dream that had come together so perfectly, saying he had slept better Monday night than he had for a long time.  The future of the photography studio couldn’t have looked any brighter with a potential for a greater success.

While he remained numb from the experience throughout the day, he said his wife was taking it harder. Jacobs said that the thieves had gone to his electric panel in the rear of the building and switched off all the circuit breakers to all the sockets and lights in all the rooms.

Drawers and filing cabinets in his office had been rifled and the contents strewn about the floor.  The drawers in the reception area had also been gone through; however the thieves evidently did not find any money or other valuables.  The camera room with its studio lights and backgrounds was untouched in the burglary.

Among the professional equipment taken were a Nikon D-700, a Nikon D-300 and a Nikon D-3 along with numerous costly lenses, Nikon SB-800 flash units, battery packs and battery extensions.  One lens alone – a 70 to 200 mm – was valued at $2,400 that is used in sports photography.

Sunset had moved from another Manteca shopping center to the present location in December 2010 in an effort to have more space to operate.  Jacobs said his team had been working in the studio until 8:45 Monday night when they all went home.

He said the loss is covered by his State Farm Insurance Company, adding that it will take at least two to three weeks to get his operation back up and running.  The photographer added that Nikon equipment production in Japan has been back-ordered because of the earthquakes and tsunami the country has suffered.  

Hong Kong loses $4,000 worth of windows, doors

On Sunday morning Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant at 430 North Main Street was struck in similar fashion at about 6 a.m. when someone smashed four windows and two doors at the front of the business.  Owners said there was only change left in the office that had been taken, adding that the cost of replacing the windows and doors has been estimated at $4,000.

A beauty salon across the street at 325 North Main Street was also burglarized about the same time, according to a police report, with the front window being smashed out.  The police log indicated another commercial burglary occurred at 900 North Main Street and was discovered shortly before noon.

Numerous window-smash nighttime burglaries have occurred during the last six weeks.  In some cases burglars have cut through roofs and outside walls to gain entrance into businesses.

At about 6:30 p.m. Sunday an auto burglary was reported at 1356 Bass Pro Drive.  

And, at 4:30 a.m. on Monday, police received a call saying a vehicle had been stolen in the 100 block of North Walnut Avenue.  Four hours later officers received a similar report of a vehicle theft in the 100 block of Spreckels Avenue.  Shortly before 7 p.m. on Monday there was a report of another auto burglary in the 1300 block of North Main Street followed by yet another in the 300 block of Pestana Avenue.