Two Czech reporters covering the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco last week were robbed at gunpoint, NBC News reported.
According to the San Francisco Police Department, three armed suspects exited a vehicle and demanded the reporters’ production equipment then drove away.
In an email to NBC News, Czech television reporter Bohumil Vostal confirmed that he and his cameraman were robbed by three armed suspects on November 12 after the two spent the day getting footage of San Francisco. The suspects made off with $18,000 worth of equipment.
The city hosted the weeklong APEC summit featuring over 20 countries. President Biden attended the summit and met with China’s President Xi Jinping.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s office said the police were “actively investigating” the robbery and asserted that when the suspects are arrested, the District Attorney’s office would take a “strong position” to “aggressively” prosecute the crime.
Before the start of the APEC summit, the city cleaned the streets of homeless encampments and debris.
The city relocated the homeless encampments around the Moscone Center where much of the APEC summit occurred so the expected 20,000 foreign visitors attending the summit would not see them. Nearby businesses and parks were cleaned, graffiti was removed, and workers painted colorful murals, prompting many critics to demand to know why it took an international summit for San Francisco to get its filthy streets under control.
Mayor Breed insisted that the city wasn’t trying to “hide the problems of San Francisco” and said she hoped the summit could change “the narrative” about the city.
Robberies in San Francisco are 13.7 percent higher this year than last year, according to the San Francisco Police Department.
According to a survey conducted by the city in April, only about a third of city residents said they felt safe being out in the city at night or during the day.