FORT FISHER, NC (WWAY) — It’s the season of giving, and that’s what one photographer in New Hanover County was trying to do until he had more than $4,000 worth of gear stolen from his car during a photo shoot Sunday while raising money for charity.
Photographer Craig Childs says he’s been in this business for almost 10 years and he’s never had something like this happen.
“It’s like someone stealing your job at work and you’re fired,” Childs said.
On Sunday, Childs held special photo sessions at Fort Fisher for a number of families with all the proceeds going to A Safe Place, which helps victims of human trafficking.
“It had started to rain, so I had walked back to my car with my gear, put my camera bag in my car, then waited it out a few minutes,” he said.
When the last family got there, he jumped out of his car with his camera. Fifteen minutes later, he said, he came back and his bag was gone and the back window of his Jeep was ripped open.”
More than $4,000 worth of camera equipment was missing. Childs says they also stole his sister-in-law’s purse and keys from the front seat, and broke into her car sitting nearby.
“I definitely feel like someone was watching us, because for 15 minutes, for someone to be there at that exact moment and go in, take it and leave,” Childs said.
Despite it all, Childs says he’s staying positive.
“I still have my camera,” he said. “I still have my family photos.”
He says thankfully the money raised for A Safe Place was not stolen.
Childs was overcome by the community support he received on social media. At the end of the day, he feels like he still won.
“All in all, I feel like it was a great day,” he said. “It was a success. We were able to raise a lot of money for a good organization, and I’m happy with that.”
Childs says they raised around $600 for A Safe Place. A friend in the community also started a GoFundMe to help Childs replace his gear. Click here if you would like to donate.