A newspaper photographer working in the San Francisco Bay Area was recently robbed at gunpoint, Fox News reported Sunday.
“The photographer for the San Francisco Chronicle was robbed of two cameras around 3:30 p.m. Friday in the 1400 block of Fifth Street in West Oakland, according to the newspaper, citing an Oakland police spokesperson,” the outlet said.
Several suspects fled the area in a vehicle but the photographer was not hurt.
“Any incident in which a person is robbed of their possessions at gunpoint is incredibly troubling,” Chronicle Editor-in-Chief Emilio Garcia-Ruiz noted in a statement Friday.
“We are relieved that our colleague was not physically injured. We are a part of this community, and we will not retreat from providing the news and information it needs,” Garcia-Ruiz added.
In a social media post on Saturday, Chronicle reporter J.K. Dineen said the photographer was taking pictures of a vacant lot “for a story about how the Oakland City Council had blocked 222 housing units there”:
The Chronicle photographer robbed at gunpoint in West Oakland yesterday was taking pictures of a vacant lot 1369 5th St. for a story about how the Oakland City Council had blocked 222 housing units there. Heartbreaking. https://t.co/oh5dnHzm5Q
— J.K. Dineen (@SFjkdineen) December 4, 2021
The incident took place while the area was still recovering after the death of an armed security guard who was shot and killed protecting a news crew reporting on a smash and grab robbery.
Kevin Nishita, who was a former policeman working as a guard for Star Protection Agency, was shot in his abdomen during an attempted robbery of KRON’s camera equipment near downtown Oakland.
He passed away due to his injuries a few days after the incident.
UPDATE: The victim is Kevin Nishita. He leaves behind a wife, two children and three grandchildren. He worked as an armed guard for Star Protection Agency and is a former Police officer. https://t.co/kiNB1tiL6n pic.twitter.com/bOX8y4LxC2
— KRON4 News (@kron4news) November 27, 2021
A $32,500 reward was offered for more information leading to an arrest.
The KRON crew was covering a story about a robbery where 12 alleged thieves raided a clothing store in the 300 block of 14th Street.
“Downgraded shoplifting laws in California have made theft of goods $950 or less only considered a misdemeanor,” Fox’s Sunday report continued:
San Francisco’s progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin is facing a second recall effort, as at least two prosecutors have resigned from his officer, citing his lack of commitment to prosecuting violent crime. Law enforcement in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California have also blamed the state’s zero bail policy, as repeat offenders arrested in shoplifting incidents are often let back on the streets.
Meanwhile, Nishita’s family members voiced another plea recently for persons who might have recorded the shooting on a cellphone to come forward and give the footage to the Oakland Police Department, the Fox report said.
“He didn’t deserve this. He was retired. He was just looking to stay busy and we just wish he can come home,” Enrique Serrano, Nishita’s son, told KRON.