A rash of brazen and at times violent robberies of Bay Area camera crews may be on the wane at least in San Francisco.
San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr announced Wednesday that police arrested one suspect in a violent July 2 robbery of two news crews as they set up to cover the killing of Kathryn Steinle near Pier 14.
“These robberies appear to be targeting the media,” said Suhr as he announced the arrest.
Anthony Jones, a 23-year-old Visitacion Valley resident, was arrested July 27 at a Fremont Motel 6, said Suhr, who acknowledged the aid of Oakland and Fremont police.
Suhr said a pistol clip found at the scene of the robbery and a descriptions of the black BMW used in the robbery helped police identify Jones as a suspect soon after the incident.
Jones appeared in San Francisco Superior Court on Wednesday for his preliminary hearing and has been charged with robbery, grand theft, aggravated assault and conspiracy.
The two other suspects have not been arrested and the stolen camera equipment has yet to be recovered.
Mostly television camera crews have been the victims of the spate of robberies across the Bay Area.
But perhaps the most recent prime example of these brazen robbers happened the day after Steinle was shot and killed on Pier 14. Several television news crews were setting up live shots on the morning of July 2 when two men drove up, pulled weapons and stole camera equipment and struck at least one journalist.
The latest theft was of San Francisco Examiner Photo Editor Mike Koozmin on July 23 when a pair of robbers took more than $10,000 of equipment from him.
“We’re not sure what’s motivating folks to steal these” cameras, said Sgt. Michael Andraychak.
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