You know crime has gotten out of control when thieves are not only victimizing news reporters, but also the security guards specifically hired to protect news reporters from would-be thieves.
Today another crew of journalists was burglarized during an interview in broad daylight, just a week after Oakland was named the nation's robbery capital, followed by a turnover of two police chiefs in two days.
According to the Chron, a KGO-TV news crew was interviewing the owner of Loakal, an art gallery and boutique at the corner of 2nd and Clay streets at Jack London Square, when unidentified crooks smashed the window of the news van and then made their way to the security guard's Chevrolet Cobalt parked across the street and broke into it.
Reporter Nick Smith chased the thieves, who reportedly jumped into a green Jaguar and took off. Fortunately, nobody was hurt, and no expensive cameras were snatched. The crooks only got away with an iPhone.
Oakland-based reporters last year started a trend of hiring their own private security guards after a string of violent robbers were targeting -- and in some cases violently -- news crews on the job. In one instance, a CBS 5 cameraman was assaulted and robbed while in the middle of a live broadcast. The crooks punched the victim several times and took his camera right out of his hands.
Before that, there were at least six other reported incidents where journalists were robbed while trying to get a story.
Sigh. Anyone with information about these incidents should to call the cops at (510) 238-3326.