SAN FRANCISCO, CA – According to reports, a San Francisco television reporter was getting ready to interview a local Twin Peaks man on the rising crime in his neighborhood on Wednesday when, ironically enough, the point was driven home as the two were suddenly robbed at gunpoint themselves.
KPIX-TV news reporter Don Ford was prepping for an interview with Brad Tardy at the intersection of Twin Peaks Boulevard and Burnett Avenue when a white luxury vehicle with four men inside pulled up; three people exited – one wielding a pistol – and demanded the camera Ford was going to use to conduct the interview.
“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,’” he said. “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 robbery took place in broad daylight in the afternoon – approximately 12:35 p.m. – and as Ford was getting ready to conduct a report on the rising number of automotive break-ins in the Twin Peaks neighborhood, he said he suddenly found himself becoming a victim as well.
Brad Tardy, the homeowner Ford was going to interview, noted that the gun-toting robbers had difficulty fitting the large camera set-up into their getaway vehicle.
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“One of the other guys grabbed the camera. He starts heading back to the car, while the guy with the gun is still pointing it at all of us,” he said. “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.”
Rafael Mandelman, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors representing District 8, tweeted his outrage at the robbery, but also said that, unfortunately, San Francisco is no longer a safe city, and that steps need to be taken to address that.
“Earlier this afternoon a reporter was robbed at gunpoint at Twin Peaks Blvd & Burnett Ave while interviewing a resident about car break-ins in the area,” Mandelman said. “@SFPD officers are working to find those responsible and recover the camera. This incident is ridiculous & unacceptable 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.”
According to authorities, the camera was later recovered, but the suspects in the robbery still remain at large; the investigation will continue, officials say.