A Greenpoint filmmaker is seeking the public’s help to recover video equipment, stolen at gunpoint, on Commercial Street this past Saturday. At around 10:00PM on August 11th, Stephen Dirkes, of Obscure Object Films, was shooting a camera test in front of 72 Commercial, with a photographer, when they were approached by a man who pulled out a black handgun and ordered the pair to get down on the ground. He then searched their pockets, stole their wallets and keys and smashed their cell phones. While this was happening, a second man entered Dirkes’ truck and did the same to an artist who was working inside the truck. The two suspects then grabbed the video equipment, including a video camera that was still recording, and fled in a black sedan, driven by a third suspect. At press time, the police do not have any suspects.
The location of the robbery, in front of Steven’s Lumber, has been used extensively by Dirkes to make Obscure Object’s short films. In an ironic twist, Dirkes shot a short called “Bullet Proof” in 2010 on the same spot he had a gun put to his head this week.
Dirkes was grateful that no one was hurt during the robbery and hopes to recover the stolen equipment, which included an EOS 7D Camera (SN 0470405345), Canon 50mm f/ 1.2L Lens (SN 1513367), Manfrotto 519 Pro Video Fluid Head and Manfrotto 536 CF 3-Stage, 4-Section Single Tube Carbon Fiber Tripod (SN C1049086).
This was the ninth commercial armed robbery in Greenpoint this year versus eight in 2011. Of those, five were at gunpoint and one involved a simulated firearm (the gun was never seen by witnesses). In 2011, only two of the crimes involved guns and one a simulated gun. In the 94th precinct, theft has been on the rise during the first seven months of 2012, with robberies up 28%, burglaries 30% and grand larcenies 36% in contrast to the same period last year.
All the stolen items are labeled “Obscure Object Films,” including tape labels on the cameras, lenses, lens hood, battery, tripod and tripod head. If anyone comes across these items, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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