County first response teams including the SPCC (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Cameras) descended upon the home of local man Chester Arthur after receiving a tip from neighbors that Arthur was keeping hundreds of cameras and lenses in his home.
When officials entered Arthur’s house, they were overwhelmed by the odor; the house smelled like the stale, inside of an old camera bag. And then they looked around and saw cameras and lenses everywhere they looked, lenses jammed on shelves five and six primes deep, push-pull zooms up to the pantry ceiling, TLR and folders in the litter box, even a poor XA propping up the leg of a lopsided end table. Everywhere they turned was a camera or lens badly in need of a CLA.
All in all, authorities seized over 400 cameras and nearly 2,500 lenses, over 1,000 of which were classic 50mm primes in apertures from F1.4 to F2. The gear will be temporarily housed and rehabilitated in a local camera shelter, and once they are ready, will be put up for adoption. Officials are hoping that most of the gear will find “forever homes” where they will be exercised regularly. Arthur is being charged with reckless endangerment of cameras and lenses and the unlawful possession of exhausted desiccant packs.
“He seemed like a normal guy.” said a neighbor, “A little quiet. Mostly kept to himself. But he always had a camera with him. After a while, you’d forget it was there, but our son, whose becoming something of a camera buff, casually noted that he’s never seen Arthur with the same camera twice.”
“It’s the quiet ones” offered another neighbor, “Last year it was the lady around the corner with 57 cats. Now this! What is the world coming to?!”