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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Another Journalist Robbed at Gunpoint in Oakland

Posted By on Tue, Jul 3, 2012 at 9:00 AM

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Journalists in Oakland are making headlines while trying to get the headlines thanks of a rash of robberies targeting news reporters and cameramen out in the field.

On Monday, an Oakland Tribune photographer was out on assignment when she was held up at gunpoint and robbed of her laptop and camera equipment. According to the Trib, Laura Oda, a veteran photographer, was out at the San Pablo murals at 35th Street shooting photos for the newspaper when a gun-toting man swiped her two cameras off her shoulder. A second man took her laptop and camera from the back of her car, which was parked on 36th Street, the paper reports.

Thankfully, she was not injured.

However, the news rattled local media outlets since it's the sixth journalist robbed at gunpoint in Oakland in the last six weeks.

On June 18, two photographers had two cameras and a tripod stolen while they were setting up to photograph the painters make the mural on San Pablo Avenue. The painters ran after the robbers, but backed off after the suspects pulled out a gun, the newspaper reports.

Other recent press-related robberies:

  • At 9:45 p.m. last Thursday, a KTVU news crew was robbed while doing a live shoot at the 5700 block of Redwood Road in the Oakland hills.

  • In June, an NBC van parked in an Oakport Street commercial building parking lot was broken into, and a computer and other equipment were stolen.

  • In early May, an ABC television news reporter working on a fire story had a laptop computer stolen from the news van while a photographer was inside.

  • In May, NBC television news reporter Jodi Hernandez and her cameraman, Rich Goudeau, were on San Pablo Avenue, at 21st Street, doing a story on state budget cuts, when a man ran up behind them and stole a TV camera and tripod.

Paul Sakuma, a photographer with The Associated Press and president of the San Francisco Bay Area Press Photographers Association, was quick to note the obvious: Oakland is a scary place. "When photographers go to Oakland, they are watching their backs a lot more than they used to," he says.

Oakland police are offering $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of suspects in these robberies. Anyone with information is asked to call police at (510) 238-3326.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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