Dear person selling my stolen camera,

I'm not looking for revenge. I'm not about to unleash threats and curse you for eternity. I'm not writing you to find out if you've pawned or sold my belongings. Realistically, my 2 cameras, 6 lenses, microphone, flash, and accessories are all out there in the hands of new owners, thinking they got a great deal.

I simply would like you know some truths. You see, you (and/or the person you are working with) didn't just steal from me. I'm not a rich fellah who has expensive toys. You actually stole from a community that has helped crowdfund this whole camera kit. This community consists of regular Joe's and Jane's who work their butts off to make ends meet yet believe in me, like my work, and entrust me to be one of thousands out there creating and sharing art and immortalized moments of our short lives on this magnificent earth. A good number of them are Seattle/Northwest locals. That's a truth.

Here's another - the camera and lens you were selling on Craigslist was used for a wedding the day before, and you nearly destroyed the wedding memories of a married couple and both their families you have never and will never meet. How does that make you feel?

Let me tell you why I'm reaching out to you: I posted this on social media after discovering my broken window, "... I am fine, the car is still there. Now, for the solutions to recover lost time and money. I feel for the desperate people who did this to fulfill their desires and needs. They are hurting badly - even worse than me."

I really meant that. You must be in a bad place.

I don't know you besides that you might be named Chris, that you claimed to live in Lynnwood and work in West Seattle, plus you had the balls to put up my Sony camera up for sale within 13 hrs of it be stolen, disguised with a LED "flash" to make it look like another's. Who knows, maybe life's getting really tough and you fear of getting evicted or you feel that the world's against you. Shit, you might even have simply lost a bet with a misaligned friend who dared you to smash a window and steal. I cannot help but imagine what life situations you may have lived through to have landed where you were in that evening, and now, today - living with the knowing you've stolen more than just cameras and lenses from a fellow human. You've turned my life upside down and ripped my livelihood away for this week. Losing a passport is a terrible, terrible experience. Those are facts.

You see too, I had grown nearly an obsession in tracking you down. I conversed with both Shoreline and Seattle PD. I tried to acquire surveillance footage from the apartments right outside where you smashed my window. I worked with a private detective in digging out more about you. Part of me wanted justice. Part of me wanted to throw the same glass shards into your hands to understand the pain you've caused me. But that would only perpetuate the hurt. This isn't about the theft and your violation to me anymore.

A week later and I know better and clearer now. There's nothing you and/or your crime partner have done or can do to ever take away my skills, my friends and family, our memories, and my inner determination to keep striving for what I stand for and my purpose. The instruments which you ripped from me played an important role, but they are, in the end, replaceable instruments. You are a reminder of the hurt in our world and I'd like to be a part of one where that kinda hurt doesn't have to exist to keep creating more. My real ask for you is to not do that EVER again - theft fucking sucks, and you're just passing on real hurt and anger to others you don't even know for a temporary high that never lasts.

If you have any ounce of human heart within you, do give those passports and whatever you have left of mine back. Otherwise, know that karma always comes around.


PS: Thank you Drew Cornwall, my friend and assistant/2nd photographer for Amanda & Evan's wedding for capturing me in action and in my groove in ways I don't get to see often at all. 

PPS: I wish to give my sincere gratitude to everyone who called (some within minutes after seeing my initial post), messaged me directly, left comments of positive juju, followed up in the days that followed, and spent time with me in person. Absolutely, unequivocally appreciated and so very helpful in my ability to find solace and grounding as I realize I am not defined by what I own and my tools, that although time is invaluable and stress is real, what matters are my skills and relationships that cannot be taken away.

My passport application is in, and it'll make it in time for all the upcoming international travel-work-volunteering. A relief.

Several wonderful humans have asked about GoFundMe or related fundraising to help me get my camera kit back together again, and reading that warmed my heart. I have a brilliant re-proposal, and shall put out the information in the following few days.

Love you all.