A San Francisco TV reporter was robbed of his camera at gunpoint on Wednesday while reporting on a story about car break-ins in the area.
Don Ford, a veteran journalist with KPIX-TV in San Francisco was interviewing a local resident in the city’s Twin Peaks neighborhood when four men in a white luxury sedan pulled up the scene.
“The car came up here while we were about to do an interview, three guys jumped out. One had a gun and put in my face and said, ‘We’re taking the camera,'” Ford said in a segment about the robbery that aired on KPIX.
Ford says the incident took less than a minute.
“My whole thought at the moment was be calm. Let’s not get this guy excited. He’s got the gun. I don’t,” Ford said. “So you take you the camera. It’s yours Buddy.”
Brad Tardy, the man Ford was set to interview, told SF Gate that the gunman kept his glock handgun pointed at the journalist while others in the car took the camera.
“One of the other guys grabbed the camera,” Tardy said. “He starts heading back to the car, while the guy with the gun is still pointing it at all of us. The third guy gets into the back seat first, the other guy gets into the back seat and then tries to put the camera and the tripod in the back seat. It’s so big he can’t get the door closed. He’s still pointing the gun at me."
The San Francisco police were able to locate the camera, which was equipped with a tracking chip. No arrests have been made, and an investigation into the incident remains open.
“Isn’t that ironic? Of all the things, literally, we’re doing a report on a crime in the neighborhood and we get held up at gunpoint," Tardy said.
Ford later received a flood of well-wishes from San Francisco journalists on his Twitter page.
“It was a dangerous moment but, my life is more important than any Camera!” Ford told one fellow journalist.
It was a dangerous moment but, my life is more important than any Camera!
— Don Ford (@DonKPIX) March 4, 2021