The media says that reporters appear to be the targets of people in a string of recent alleged California robberies. The latest alleged incident was reported last week, when a KTVU reporter was covering a bike accident in the Oakland Hills. The reporter says that several men approached her and her cameraman and stole equipment from the company van.

The TV reporter radioed the station, who called police after the alleged robbery. The media personnel say that one of the men who approached the media truck yelled that the reporter should be shot as the men pushed their way into the van. Neither media worker was injured. The alleged robbery of media personnel is apparently not the first in Oakland in recent months.

An Oakland Tribune photographer reported earlier in the week that she too was robbed while covering a story. She says that she was photographing a mural when someone reportedly stole her laptop and camera.

In May, a KNTV reporter and cameraman say that a man stole a camera and tripod from the media staff on San Pablo Avenue near 20th Street.

Now, at least one of the reporters says that media personnel are "on guard now, no matter what time of day or where in town we are." Some people in the media think that the equipment is being targeted in robberies for sale on the black market. Sources say that a TV camera can be worth $60,000 and a tripod may be worth around $7,000.

Law enforcement reportedly is looking into whether there is a targeted link between the events, or whether the alleged acts just crimes of opportunity. No doubt, law enforcement will be looking for any evidence that they think can tie someone to the robberies. It does not appear anyone has been charged in any of the recent incidents.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "Oakland: Media the victims in rash of robberies," Henry K. Lee, July 3, 2012