2 arrested in robbery of California news crew
Oakland, Calif. – Two men have been arrested in the shooting of the security guard for a news crew that was robbed while covering the Oakland teachers’ strike, authorities said Monday.
KPIX said a reporter and a photographer were gathering interviews Sunday afternoon at the Oakland Library when a car pulled up and two men got out and of them pointed a gun and demanded their camera. The crew surrendered the equipment and began walking away.
One of the suspects then shot the guard, Matt Meredith, in the leg, the news station said. KPIX reporter Joe Vazquez said on Twitter that the guard, a retired Berkeley police officer, returned gunfire.
Alameda County Sheriff spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said a 21-year-old man with several gunshot wounds went to a hospital after the incident. Oakland police arrested the man on suspicion of shooting the guard.
Oakland Police spokeswoman Johanna Watson confirmed Monday two people were detained and the stolen camera was recovered. The guard was treated at a hospital and released, she said.
Assaults on routine assignments became so commonplace in recent years that some television stations have hired armed guards to ride with news crews.
It’s not the first time the station has been the target of theft. In November 2012, a group of men punched a KPIX cameraman while he was filming in front of an Oakland high school and fled with his camera while it was still recording.
The Associated Press tallied five robberies in 2012, two in 2013, three in 2014 and at least three in 2015 plus several burglaries of news vehicles.
“We don’t know what the market is for these cameras,” San Francisco Police Sgt. Michael Andraychuk told The Associated Press in 2015. Even though the cameras can cost upward of $50,000 each, it is specialized equipment that can’t be easily sold on the black market, Andraychuk said.