Oakland News Crew Robbed At Gunpoint, Latest In Crime Wave Aimed At Journalists

An Oakland news crew was robbed at gunpoint on Friday, the latest in an ongoing string of crime aimed at members of the media in the city.

The incident took place in the 2700 block of Chestnut Street in West Oakland in broad daylight on Friday afternoon. Three men approached a KGO-TV news crew, which was accompanied by a security guard, and pulled a gun.

The robbers made off with camera equipment, leaving the news crew unharmed.

It was not the first robbery aimed at KGO-TV. In May thieves hit a news van that was parked at Jack London Square, taking personal items and also breaking into a car belonging to the security guard accompanying the crew.

A number of Oakland journalists have been targeted by robbers, who take their expensive video and photograph equipment. Oakland Tribune photographer Laura Oda has been robbed twice of her cameras in the last year, and in May 2012 a robber stole a KNTV camera from its tripod.

The most high-profile incident took place in November, when a cameraman for KPIX was punched and robbed during a live broadcast outside Oakland Technical High School. The crew was covering the passage of deep budget cuts to education when five men rushed at the news crew and snatched their $6,000 camera from its tripod.

One person in the group punched the cameraman in the mouth as they took the camera, and the group then piled into a Mercedez-Benz and fled.

The incidents have made it difficult for Oakland news crews to cover events in the city, especially potential violent situations like the riots that took place after the George Zimmerman’s trial concluded.

After the cameraman was punched last year, KPIX news crews began keeping security guard with then when they went on assignment. The KGO-TV news crew that was robbed also kept security guards when covering events in Oakland, including covering a fatal officer-involved shooting in East Oakland.