Tens of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise was left undisturbed during an early morning break-in at a business in the Beltline and now the owners of the store are hoping the unique characteristics of the select items that were stolen will help lead to their return.

At approximately 4:30 a.m. Saturday, thieves gained entry to The Camera Store in the 800 block of 11 Avenue Southwest.

Julian Ferreira, one of the owners of The Camera Store, arrived to discover police at the scene and broken glass. “Somebody had pried open one of the shutters and managed to crawl underneath it, smashing windows, making their way into the store.”

Ferreira says the thieves smashed two of the store’s showcases, removing a single camera from each as well as a handful of lenses.

“Out of the one showcase there was probably $100,000 worth of cameras sitting in there, it’s one of the premium showcases, and, out of all that, they plucked one single item out of there only and left everything else,” said Ferreira. “Very much a shopping list. Very specific.”

The stolen cameras consist of a Leica M-P 240 safari edition kit (serial no. UQ27014288), one of only 1,500 made worldwide, and a mirrorless, large format Hasselblad X1D (serial no. 09008593).

“The Leica will stand out incredibly in that it’s a green, an olive-green, camera and the only (model) like it ever made,” “explained Ferreira. “It wouldn’t look like a $13,000 camera to most people but to a collector it would.”

“The Hasselblad would be more for a high-end photographer, probably commercial, but (it’s) a very, very specific unit. Not the sort of thing you see many of and not the thing we sell a lot of. Very specialized.”

Ferreira says the thieves swiped the Hasselblad, valued at roughly $25,000, while camera bodies worth considerably more were left in the showcase. “Why wouldn’t you just fill the bag with whatever you can stuff in there?”

Ferreira says the cameras would be very difficult to sell privately for their full value. “I can’t imagine how anyone would flip this.”

Surveillance camera footage of the break-in has been supplied to the Calgary Police Service and an investigation is underway.

The owners of The Camera Store are offering a reward in the hopes that someone in the community encounters the stolen items.

“We’re offering anybody that can give us a tip that leads to a conviction a $5,000 shopping spree at our expense in the store.”

Anyone with information related to the break-in is asked to contact the Calgary Police Service at 403-266-1234 or anonymous tips may be submitted to Crime Stoppers

With files from CTV's Bill Macfarlane