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Friends Replace O.C. Man’s Stolen Camera – and Then Some

first_imgBy TIM KELLYIt was a moment that might cause a person to question humanity. But that moment was quickly followed by another that would restore one’s faith in humanity.Sean Beebe is an Ocean City resident well-known to locals and visitors alike. He’s an accomplished photographer, a presence on the beach, Boardwalk — and prior to the COVID-19 outbreak — at area restaurants and night spots.“Sean is a great guy,” friend Shane Rauner related. “That’s why so many people wanted to help him out.”Last week Beebe was grabbing a bite to eat and briefly walked away from his seat to dispose of his trash.Upon his return, a timeframe of less than a minute, his Nikon D5500digital SLR camera was gone.The trusty camera had rarely left Beebe’s side for four years. Just that brief moment of separation was all the thief needed.Sean Beebe captured a lightning strike in Somers Point recently.“As most of you know, my camera was stolen the other day,” Beebe wrote on social media. “I want to thank (all of his friends) for all the love and support during this tough time. Hopefully soon I’ll get a better camera and capture much better pics.”That post was pure Sean, Rauner said.“He’s always positive and Sean is a guy who would do anything for you. But this really hit him hard,” Rauner noted. “He takes such amazing photographs, and then his camera gets stolen. That was a really hard thing for him to deal with.”That’s when Beebe’s friends came to the rescue.Organized by a group of pals including Rauner, Kylie, Kirsten and Cory Raab, Amanda Brooks, Conor Plasha, Sam Newnam and Christian Heist, a crowdfunding site was set up on the internet to try to replace Bebe’s old Nikon.“He told me that he paid about $500 for his stolen camera a few years ago, and that’s what we set as the (crowdfunding) goal,” Rauner said. “I wasn’t sure if we raised that much if it would be enough to actually replace the camera.”Something would be better than nothing, the friends reasoned, and the page went live on Wednesday.They needn’t have worried. In less than 24 hours, the effort raised more than six times the goal amount. The page was finally shut down, Rauner said, after more than $3,200 had been raised.“Even after the page had been closed, we were getting messages from people who still wanted to help. That shows you how highly people think of Beebz,” Rauner said.Beebe was thrilled to hear about the fundraiser’s success and began looking to purchase new equipment.“I’ve already ordered a new lens and I’m shopping around to find an upgrade,” he said, gratefully.Rauner said he was “amazed” the crowdfunding page achieved such immediate success, although he “shouldn’t be surprised at all.”“Beebz is such a well-liked guy it kind of stands to reason. He is just the nicest guy you’ll meet. If you need a ride or if he can help you in any other way, he’ll drop whatever he is doing to lend a hand,” Rauner pointed out. “I also know that if the situation were reversed, Sean would be the first person to step up and do whatever he could to help out.”An expert at many aspects of photography, Beebe specializes in capturing the beauty and life surrounding the South Jersey Shore. Beach and surf pictures and sunrises and sunsets are among the subjects posted on the page.For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/pg/seanbeebz/about/?ref=page_internalBeebe said he was thankful for the action of his friends and that he will soon be back in business with upgraded equipment.“It really means a lot to me,” Beebe said. “I’ve been seeing nothing but positivity amid all the negativity in the world today.”The power of the sea and the Atlantic City skyline on display in one of Sean Beebe’s photographs. Sean Beebe in a portrait he totaled “Social Distancing.” (Photos courtesy Sean Beebe Photography Facebook page)last_img

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