Police are seeking two suspects who pepper-sprayed a KDTV-TV news crew and stole their camera in San Francisco’s Mission District on the evening of 1/6. The crew, which included four men between the ages of 28 and 61, was breaking down their equipment after filming in the area when two male suspects believed to be in their late teens ran up from behind and pepper-sprayed them, according to CBS San Francisco.
The suspects then took the camera and fled west toward San Jose Avenue, police said. The victims were treated at the scene for eye irritation and then released.
From the story: “The incident was the latest in a series of robberies targeting TV news crews in the Bay Area and the third incident in the last six months. In August, a KGO-TV crew was robbed of their camera gear at gunpoint in broad daylight in Oakland by three men. In September, an armed security guard traveling with a KRON news crew in San Francisco foiled an attempted robbery and shot one of the suspects. Local stations have been hiring private security guards to travel with news crews in high-crime areas. Anyone with information about the robbery is encouraged to call the Police Department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or to send a tip by text message to TIP411 with “SFPD” in the message.”
RBR-TVBR observation: This is the sort of thing that we’d usually only hear about with news crews overseas. But let’s face it, the news happens everywhere and anywhere—and that can include risky locations. Therefore, delivering on-the-street news is potentially as dangerous as police work. It might not hurt to have a security guard on call to go with the crew if there are any doubts—especially in San Francisco, apparently!