OAKLAND, Calif. >> A security guard died after being shot while protecting a San Francisco Bay Area TV crew covering a crash theft, part of a wave of organized crime in the retail in the area.
“We are devastated by the loss of the security guard and our friend, Kevin Nishita. Our deepest condolences go out to Kevin’s wife, children, family and all of his friends and colleagues, ”KRON-TV Vice President and General Manager Jim Rose said in a statement on Saturday. .
Nishita was an armed guard for the Star Protection Agency and provided security for television crews in the area, who are often targets of thieves for their equipment.
He was shot in the abdomen on Wednesday during an attempted theft of KRON-TV camera equipment near downtown Oakland, police said.
The news team was covering a recent theft in which a group of thieves broke into and robbed a clothing store.
A reward of $ 32,500 is offered for information leading to an arrest in the murder of Nishita.
Nishita was a police officer for the towns of Hayward, San Jose, Colma before retiring in 2018. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said MPs escorted his body out of the hospital with full honor. law enforcement.
“This senseless loss of life is due to yet another violent crime in the Bay Area. We hope that offering a reward will help arrest those responsible so that they can be brought to justice for this terrible tragedy, ”said Rose.
The region has been hit by organized retail robberies in which gangs of thieves, some carrying pliers and hammers, break into high-end stores and snatch goods.
Similar thefts have been reported in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills and elsewhere in the country.
At least eight thieves stormed a Home Depot store in Lakewood on Black Friday and grabbed hammers, pliers and sledgehammers from the tool section before rushing into a getaway vehicle, the sheriff’s department said from Los Angeles County.
Four people who may have participated in the Home Depot robbery were later arrested in Beverly Hills after officers stopped two cars that were part of a vehicle trailer driving through the city’s business district, the police lieutenant said. Giovanni Trejo. A passer-by called police after seeing that some of the vehicles did not display license plates, he said.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles Police have arrested three people on suspicion of storming a designer clothing store in Melrose Place after stopping a vehicle and seeing clothing in plain view, the LAPD officer said. Mike Lopez. He said more than 10 people ransacked another store on La Brea Avenue.
The thefts are believed to be part of sophisticated criminal networks that recruit people to steal goods from stores across the country and then sell them online. Experts and law enforcement officials say thefts increase as the holiday shopping season kicks off.