SAN FRANCISCO—Over a dozen television news crews and photographers have been robbed of their equipment in the Bay Area since 2012. Ongoing investigations have been taking place by the San Francisco Police Department, but no arrests have been made.
In a recent robbery, two journalists were pistol-whipped in July at Pier 14, one cameraman reportedly sustained a gash behind his head, no serious injuries have been reported from these robberies. As a result, safety measures have become a greater priority for news publications, many television news stations have provided armed guards to ride alongside their news crews.
In a recent incident that took place last month, San Francisco Examiner photojournalist, Mike Koozmin, was robbed of $10,000 worth of camera equipment while tending to an assignment at the San Francisco Hall of Justice. Koozmin stated that he “was jostled but left unhurt” when three thieves pulled him into an alley and began tugging on his camera straps. Koozmin had been robbed right across the street from San Francisco’s criminal courthouse, where police officers regularly patrolled and circulated the building.
Director of the San Francisco SAG-AFTRA, Leonard Egert, stated that the union fears for its crew members safety, “our reporters want to cover the story, but they want to be safe, too.”
San Francisco Police Sergeant, Michael Andraychuk stated that none of the cameras stolen have shown up on Craigslist, eBay, or any other online marketplace. The SFPD believes the market of these cameras is unknown, as it is specialized equipment that cannot easily be sold on the black market. Andraychuk stated that each camera can cost up to $50,000.