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Masked men break Crescent Springs photography store owner's arm, steal high-end cameras

Posted at 8:29 PM, May 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 00:51:32-04

CRESCENT SPRINGS, Ky. — Rob Kumler left K&R Photographics, the shop he co-owns with his wife Wilma, at 12:15 Wednesday afternoon. She called him in tears fewer than 15 minutes later.

They’d been robbed, she said. A trio of masked, armed men had entered their store, thrown her to the ground hard enough to break her arm and left carrying tens of thousands of dollars in camera equipment.

The crime was shocking even to Villa Hills police Sgt. JJ Bird, who said it was the first business robbery his department had experienced since it began patrolling Crescent Springs in mid-2018.

“To throw somebody in their 70s down on the floor like that and break their arm, they’re pretty brazen,” he said.

The men were in such a hurry to leave they dropped and shattered a $12,000 camera on their way out, Rob Kumler said Wednesday evening. His wife was still in surgery when he spoke to WCPO.

Kumler said Wilma had described the group as men dressed in dark gloves, hoodies and masks. At least one had a gun, according to Bird; another held a hammer. They entered and made a beeline for the most expensive equipment K&R carries.

“We’re pretty sure that at least one of them had been here before ‘cause they knew where things were,” Kumler said.

He hopes that expensive equipment will betray them when they try to sell it.

Although consumer-grade cameras are likely easy for them to fence or sell below-board, he said, the prizes they prioritized have a limited use and a limited pool of potential buyers.

“High-end cameras, that’s a small market,” he said. “It’s a small market as far as the type of customers that are using them — high-end fashion, high-end food, high-end advertising.”

And a would-be black market salesman will have a harder time concealing where he got them from.

Even if the cameras don’t give them away, Kumler said he was hopeful police would be able to find the men who hurt his wife. One of them left a glove behind at the scene — and, as a camera shop, K&R has four security recordings running at all times.

Bird encouraged anyone with information about the attack to contact Villa Hills investigators at 859-341-3535.