A photographer has her equipment back and a bride and groom can now enjoy their wedding photos after stolen photography equipment was recovered this week.
During the overnight hours Thursday, Oct. 22, more than $6,000 worth of photography equipment was stolen from the back of Jessalynn Cairer’s vehicle at her residence in the 700 block of West Fourth Street. Cairer, owner of The Royal In Me Design & Photography, lost cameras, flashes and lenses.
The memory cards inside the cameras contained three photo shoots — two senior portrait sessions and the wedding of Jessica and Patrick Hofheins, the only professional photos of the couple’s wedding.
According to a Sedalia Police Department report, detectives Travis St. Cyr and Andrew Bruce recovered both digital cameras and a large portion of the missing photography equipment Thursday, and the Hofheins’ wedding photos were still intact.
“I was just in tears, I was beyond happy, tears of joy absolutely,” Cairer said of when she got the phone call about her recovered cameras. “We went to the station and looked at the card and it was indeed the one we were praying to be returned. It’s unbelievable the detective work that had to go into this. … The equipment passed through numerous hands, it was all split up. And then to recover that much of it is unbelievable in less than a week. So much gratitude to the police department.”
“Words can’t explain how excited and relieved that we are to have those (photos) back in our hands,” Jessica Hofheins said. “The police department worked really hard on it and they’re the ones that got the lead and followed it.”
Tuesday’s Democrat article about the theft sparked a community member to contact the police, which Cairer said “started the big lead.” One of the cameras was located in Pettis County, while the other was found in Lincoln. Charges are pending on two individuals for felony stealing and receiving stolen property.
Cairer said she received her cameras and lenses, but other equipment, such as her camera bag, battery packs and external flashes, haven’t been recovered. Only one memory card was recovered, and it happened to be the one they needed the most.
“Only one SD card was found and it just so happened it was the one with the wedding photos on it,” Cairer said. “It’s a true gift from God — I got one card and it happened to be the right one. That’s all that matters.”
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1482 or @NicoleRCooke.