Guard fatally shot as TV news crew covers smash-and-grab theft in Oakland

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A security guard was killed when he was shot while protecting a Bay Area television news crew who was covering up burglaries and burglaries as part of organized retail crime in the area.

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“We are devastated by the loss of the security guard and our friend, Kevin Nishita. Our deepest sympathies go out to Kevin’s wife, his children, his family and all of his friends and associates,” Jim Rose, vice president and general manager of KRON-TV, said in a statement on Saturday.

Nishita was an armed guard for the Star Protection Agency and provided security for television news crews in the area, who are often targeted by robbers for their equipment.

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He was shot in the stomach during an attempt to rob KRON-TV’s camera equipment near downtown Oakland on Wednesday, police said.

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The news team was covering a recent robbery that involved a group of thieves breaking into a clothing store and stealing it.

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A reward of $32,500 is being offered to anyone who informs the arrest in Nishita’s murder.

Nishita was a police officer for the cities of Hayward, San Jose and Colma before retiring in 2018. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said the deputy took his body from the hospital with full law enforcement respect.

“This senseless loss of life has been caused by another violent criminal act in the Bay Area. We hope the reward will help arrest those responsible so they can face justice for this horrific tragedy.”

The area has been affected by organized retail theft in which gangs of thieves, some carrying crowbars and hammers, break into expensive stores and snatch goods.

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 burglars stormed a Home Depot store in Lakewood on Black Friday and grabbed hammers, crowbars and sledgehammers in the equipment section.

Beverly Hills Police Lieutenant Giovanni Trezzo said four people who took part in the Home Depot burglary were later arrested in Beverly Hills after officers stopped two cars, which were caravans of vehicles around the city’s business district. were part of. He said a passer-by called the police after some vehicles did not have license plates.

Meanwhile, police in Los Angeles arrested three people on suspicion of attacking a designer clothing store at Melrose Place after stopping a vehicle and seeing clothes in plain sight, LAPD officer Mike Lopez said. He said more than 10 people ransacked another store on La Brea Avenue.

The theft is believed to be part of a sophisticated criminal network that recruits people to steal merchandise in stores across the country and then sell it online. Experts and law enforcement officials say thefts are on the rise as the holiday shopping season approaches.

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