A Chicago television cameraman in San Francisco to cover Super Bowl 50 was robbed of his camera at gunpoint earlier this week, the latest in a string of robberies targeting journalists and their pricey equipment in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports Wednesday that Marcus Richardson was taking scenic background pictures on Tuesday at Lombard and Hyde streets when he was robbed around 9:15 p.m. The two unidentified gunmen struck while he was putting equipment back into his car.
Richardson was not injured.
The robberies in recent years have led some TV stations to hire guards to protect their reporters. Last summer, two news crews were interrupted and robbed by gunmen during a live broadcast at Pier 14 in San Francisco, the newspaper reported.
Two journalists have been pistol whipped and an Oakland Tribune photographer lost five cameras in two incidents.
Last year, San Francisco Examiner photographer Mike Koozmin was on a routine assignment at the city's Hall of Justice in the middle of the day when he was robbed of his camera equipment. The robbery happened across the street from the city's criminal courthouse, where uniformed police were entering and exiting the building. Koozmin was jostled, but unhurt.
Police in various jurisdictions say the brazen robberies started about three years ago, but they aren't keeping a tally. There have been at least five such robberies in 2012, two in 2013, three in 2014 and at least four last year, plus several burglaries of vehicles, according to and Associated Press count.