Photographer Tom Wilson says he feels “humbled” by the response to his appeal for help after an opportunist thief stole his prized camera while he lay unconscious from a nasty fall in a Leamington park on Saturday night.
Tom, 48, and a father-of-two from Bishops Itchington, was on his way to take photos of a gig at the Zephyr Lounge in the town centre but was knocked unconscious when he slipped on black ice near the footbridge in the Pump Room Gardens (Bandstand Park) at about 9pm.
He does not remember much of what happened after that but when he came to his Canon 5D Mark III camera - which cost him about £2,500 when he bought it three years ago - and the Billingham bag in which he was carrying the device were gone.
He said: “The camera has been a part of me for quite a long time. It is glued to me so for it to be gone is quite bizarre.
“My wallet wasn’t taken and I wasn’t assaulted so whoever took it must have just seen the opportunity and taken it.
“I’m hoping that person will now develop a conscience and hand it in.”
Tom, who takes photos at the Zephyr Lounge as part of a hobby which he has had since his childhood, posted photos on his Facebook wall of the injuries he sustained and of a camera of the same make and model in the hope that his friends might be able to help him to have the device returned to him.
The post was shared on the Spotted: Leamington Spa page over the weekend and he has had people contact him with offers to lend him their cameras.
He has also had to politely refuse an offer to set up a crowd funding page to raise money for a replacement device.
Tom, who drives cement lorries for a living, said: “I’m terrible when it comes to accepting help from anyone in that way. I try to be self-sufficient wherever possible.
“I know I’ve taken a fall but people’s response to my appeal has been humbling.”
Tom has reported the incident t the police and will be providing the camera’s serial number to second hand shops and pawn brokers in the town to try to track down the device.
Anyone with information about the incident or the whereabouts of the camera can contact police on 101.