It’s the kind of cruel irony you see in a scene from a movie or a TV show or something. Don Ford, a reporter for KPIX 5 News was shooting a story on the rise of robberies in San Francisco’s Twin Peaks neighbourhood since certain roads were closed off due to the pandemic. These roads had previously led to tourist attractions, but with local thieves’ main targets no longer visiting that area, they’ve restored to robbing the people that live there instead.
Ford was interviewing nearby homeowners about the robbers when a “white luxury sedan” vehicle pulled up outside one of the homes, three men stepped out, with a fourth remaining in the vehicle, and robbed Ford at gunpoint, proclaiming “we’re taking the camera”.
Ford and the subject held up their hands and let the men take the camera equipment and the whole thing took less than a minute. KPIX reports Ford’s thoughts. “My whole thought at the moment was be calm. Let’s not get this guy excited. He’s got the gun. I don’t. So you take you the camera. It’s yours, buddy.” The homeowner being interviewed when it happened appears to have had similar thoughts, stating “I just looked and I said, ‘I’m not going to get shot today,'”
San Francisco District 8 representative, Rafael Mandelman tweeted that San Francisco PD are working to find those responsible and recover the camera equipment and that the robbery was “ridiculous & unacceptable but not entirely unexpected”.
but not entirely unexpected in San Francisco in 2021. We need to adequately resource public safety agencies, adopt better strategies to stop repeat offenders & make clear that San Francisco is not a place that you can commit crimes & put people's lives at risk with impunity. 2/2
— Rafael Mandelman (@RafaelMandelman) March 3, 2021
Nobody was injured during the event, but everybody was understandably shaken. No arrests have as yet been made.
This isn’t the first incident we’ve seen involving people being robbed at Twin Peaks over their camera gear. 71-year-old photographer, Edward French was robbed and killed for his camera by a young man and a woman in 2017.