St Albans shop replaces 12-year-old girl’s stolen camera

PUBLISHED: 12:52 05 September 2018 | UPDATED: 12:52 05 September 2018

Abbi Tomkins with Jessops store manager Arran Davies and her new camera. Picture: Lorraine Bullock.

Abbi Tomkins with Jessops store manager Arran Davies and her new camera. Picture: Lorraine Bullock.


A mother whose daughter’s stolen camera has been replaced by a St Albans store has “had her faith in humanity restored”.

Abbi Tomkins outside Jessops with her new camera. Picture: Lorraine Bullock.Abbi Tomkins outside Jessops with her new camera. Picture: Lorraine Bullock.

Lorraine Bullock discovered her 12-year-old daughter Abbi Tomkins’ camera had been stolen from her car on Monday morning, with many of the photos Abbi had taken over the summer break still in its memory.

“We were gutted because she had saved up for it with her own money,” Lorraine said.

Lorraine posted about their ordeal on the Facebook group All Things St Albans, which was spotted by Arran Davies from Jessops in The Maltings.

He offered to put aside a camera for Abbi and even offered to get a colleague to teach her how to use it.

Lorraine said: “Abbi was very shocked. She could not believe it and in the car she said she was ‘ecstatic’.”

Abbi had downloaded some of her photos from an airshow they had been to, but not any of the pictures taken before or since.

“We have lost the photos, but the important thing is when that happens when you are 12 years old you think there are lots of bad people in the world, but Arran wanted to demonstrate there are lots of nice people in the world and there are more good people than bad.

“It restored our faith in humanity.”

They went to Jessops on Tuesday afternoon and Abbi has taken the camera, which is a newer model than her stolen one, out of the box, but homework has prevented her from going out and using it.

Jessops store manager Arran Davies, who lives in St Albans, said: “I just felt really bad for her daughter.

“I am a photographer and I remembered when I was 15 and loved my camera and I thought helping Abbi was something I could do.

“Lorraine was excited and she had not told Abbi what they were going to do, so that was lovely.

The store runs academy courses to help teach people how to use their cameras, run by Arran’s colleague Nicole, so he offered her assistance to Abbi to help her get used to the new camera.

“You should encourage any passion they have at that age, especially photography,” Arran said.

“That’s why I felt so bad about what happened. Something like a camera being stolen makes it very easy to get discouraged. But it’s always good to see their photos.”

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