SAN FRANCISCO—Perpetrators involved in a robbery involving a local news crew while they were reporting a story have been detained by the San Francisco Police Department.
Authorities say that on February 6, at 6:50 p.m., a news crew was reporting on a story near the 1-80 Bay Bridge Ramp, on Bryant Street when “Two suspects exited a dark-colored, four-door Lexus and demanded the news crew surrender their news camera. The suspects’ hands were concealed under their clothing, simulating that they each had a firearm. The victims surrendered the news camera, and the suspects fled the scene in the Lexus, traveling eastbound on I-80.”
The driver of the Lexus remained inside the vehicle during the incident, the San Francisco Police Department reported. A few minutes later authorities reported some of their solo motorcycles were patrolling, when the victims flagged them down and told them they had just been robbed.
Some of the solo-motorcycle officers drove onto the eastbound freeway to find the Lexus, while the remaining police officer spoke with the victims to gather information about the perpetrators.
The SFPD indicated that one of the victims recalled the license plate number of the Lexus and when the police checked that number, they found the registered owner lived on Treasure Island.
“SFPD officers later located the vehicle near Striped Bass and 12th Streets on T.I. Officers conducted a traffic stop and detained the occupants, a 20-year-old male, and a 15-year-old male,” the SFPD stated.
One of the responding police officers recognized the driver of the Lexus “and knew that he usually drove a white Honda Accord.”
Officers located the Honda nearby at the end of Flounder Court where it was occupied by two additional subjects who were later identified as Ronnell Edward Johnson, 18, of Treasure Island and Romell Boyland, 21, of San Francisco.
Officers found a large video camera inside the Honda sitting in the back seat. Authorities indicated this camera was stolen in a separate incident that occurred on the 1300 block of Haight Street on February 6 at 5:45 p.m.
“In this incident, two suspects exited the passenger side of a dark-colored car driven by a third suspect. The suspects demanded the victim’s camera. The victim feared for his safety dropped the camera, and backed away,” the SFPD stated.
Authorities released the 20-year-old and the 15-year-old, but they are pending further investigation.
When the San Francisco News asked why the police released them, a spokesman for the police department said, “Due to the open and active investigation we are unable to state the reason for release of the detain individuals.”
The San Francisco Sherriff’s Office said that Boyland was booked on an assault with a firearm and receiving or buying stolen property.
Johnson’s jail records reveal he was booked for two counts of second-degree robbery and one count of receiving or buying stolen property.
The men’s jail records indicate they are currently being held without bond and their next court date is on March 3 at 9 a.m.
Anyone with information relating the incidents is asked to call the San Francisco Police Department at 415-575-4444 or text TIP411 and start the message with “SFPD.” All tipsters remain anonymous.