News crew guard dies after being shot in attempted robbery
Oakland, California. A security guard is shot and killed while protecting a San Francisco Bay Area news crew covering a smash and robbery, part of a series of organized retail crimes in the area.
“We are devastated by the loss of our security guard and friend Kevin Nishita. KRON-TV Vice President and General Manager Jim Rose said in a statement Saturday, “Our deepest sympathies are with Kevin’s wife, children, family, and all of his friends and colleagues.”
Nishita was an armed guard for the Star Protection Agency, providing security for television news crews in the area, who are often targeted by thieves because of their equipment.
Police said he was shot in the stomach during an attempt to steal KRON TV camera equipment near downtown Auckland on Wednesday.
The news crew was covering a recent burglary in which a group of thieves broke into a clothing store and stole them.
A reward of $32,500 is offered for information leading to an arrest in Nishita’s murder.
Nishita was a police officer in the cities of Hayward, San Jose, Colma before retiring in 2018. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said deputies escorted his body from the hospital while honoring full law enforcement.
“This unbelievable loss of life is caused by yet another violent criminal act in the Gulf region. We hope that offering a reward will help in apprehending those responsible so they can face justice for this terrible tragedy.”
The area was subjected to organized retail robberies, as gangs of thieves, some with crowbars and hammers, stormed high-end stores and snatched merchandise.
Similar thefts have been reported in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and elsewhere in the country.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said at least eight thieves broke into a Home Depot store in Lakewood on Black Friday and grabbed hammers, crowbars and sledgehammers in the tool section before driving away in a car.
Police Lt. Giovanni Trigo said four people who may have participated in the Home Depot heist were later arrested in Beverly Hills after officers stopped two cars that were part of a convoy of vehicles traveling around the city’s business district. He said that a passerby called the police after seeing that some vehicles did not have license plates.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles police have arrested three people suspected of breaking into a designer clothing store on Melrose Place after stopping a car and seeing the clothes in plain sight, LAPD officer Mike Lopez said. He said more than 10 people looted another store on La Brea Street.
The thefts are believed to be part of sophisticated criminal networks that recruit people to steal goods in stores across the country and then sell them online. Experts and law enforcement officials say thefts are on the rise as the holiday shopping season begins.
Associated Press reporter Julie Walker in New York contributed to this report.
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