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TV News Crew Pepper Sprayed, Robbed In San Francisco’s Mission District

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Police are seeking two suspects who pepper-sprayed a TV news crew and stole their camera in San Francisco’s Mission District on Monday evening.

The robbery was reported at about 6:25 p.m. in the 1100 block of Valencia Street.

The crew from Spanish-language station Univision 14, which consisted of four men between the ages of 28 and 61, was breaking down their equipment after filming in the area when two male suspects believed to be in their late teens ran up from behind and pepper-sprayed them, according to police.

The suspects then took the camera and fled west toward San Jose Avenue, police said.

The victims were treated at the scene for eye irritation and then released.

The incident was the latest in a series of robberies targeting TV news crews in the Bay Area and the third incident in the last six months. In August, a KGO-TV crew was robbed of their camera gear at gunpoint in broad daylight in Oakland by three men. In September, an armed security guard traveling with a KRON news crew in San Francisco foiled an attempted robbery and shot one of the suspects.

Local stations have been hiring private security guards to travel with news crews in high-crime areas.

Anyone with information about the robbery is encouraged to call the Police Department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or to send a tip by text message to TIP411 with “SFPD” in the message.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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