A Babylon photographer was reunited on Tuesday with his missing camera equipment — thanks to a Shirley restaurant and a deceased friend.
Dan Marquardt retrieved his camera and video gear at Suffolk Police's Seventh Precinct in Shirley after it was found earlier in the day at a Friendly's restaurant on Montauk Highway, he said.
The equipment, which Marquardt valued at $12,000 to $15,000, had gone missing Sunday afternoon while he was taking pictures and making videos of a fundraiser hosted by former Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider in Lido Beach.
“Everything is here,” Marquardt said in a telephone interview as he brought home his equipment, including lenses, microphones and stabilizers. “Everything is here and working. It’s incredible."
Nassau police, who had been investigating the case as an apparent theft, said the camera equipment was left outside a "business establishment" that they didn't identify.
Marquardt said someone at the restaurant found a bag with the equipment outside the eatery and contacted police.
Among the items in the bag was a passport that had belonged to Dianne Zaremba, a friend and former classmate of Marquardt's when they were growing up in Rockville Centre. He said Zaremba had coproduced a documentary film he made, and he has kept Zaremba's passport with him since she died about six years ago.
Marquardt said the document helped him identify the camera equipment as his.
“I keep it as a keepsake and a memory to keep her spirit alive,” Marquardt said. “I keep her spirit with me in my bag.”
Marquardt said he would not want to press charges against anyone who took the camera, a Canon 7 that he counted among his favorite cameras. He said he just was happy to have his stuff back.
"We’re good. We’re square,” he said. “Nothing is missing.”