Palm Beach Gardens woman reunited with stolen camera equipment two years later

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - If you're trying to clear clutter in your house, you might want to think twice about throwing out your old electronics boxes.

A Palm Beach Gardens woman had thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment stolen out of her car two years ago. 

And she says keeping her boxes made all the difference in getting her stuff back.

Tracey Benson relies on her professional camera to help her with her photography business, Tracey Benson Photography.

“Without it, we wouldn’t be as successful as we are," she said.

But two years ago, her work flow hit a bump when her car was broken into in October 2016. More than $3,000 worth of camera equipment was stolen.

“The lens alone was $2,000. I just recently purchased the camera, the lens and the flash," he said.

She quickly filed a police report and turned over the serial numbers she had for each piece of camera equipment.

“Told me really, there was nothing they could do," she said.

But flash forward to last week, when Benson said she got a call from a PBSO detective.

She learned the staff at Queen of Pawns in Riviera Beach received items that immediately turned up red flags in their database. Turns out — those items belonged to Benson. Queen of Pawns said the serial numbers of everything they get through their doors is vetted first PBSO and their database of stolen items.

“You know, I never thought it was gonna come back to me," she said.

And because she saved everything, even two years later, she was able to reclaim her items at the pawn shop with no issues.

“They matched up the serial numbers and that’s all it took," said Benson.

She plans to add it to the new camera equipment she had to buy.

"It was in perfect working condition," she said. “I think it was literally sitting on a shelf somewhere collecting dust.”

Benson hopes others can learn from her experience.

“Whether it’s a TV or a camera or any type of lawn equipment just keep the serial numbers, keep the boxes if you can store them," she said. “In case this ever happens, you’re prepared.”

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