Two Czech journalists who were in San Francisco to cover the APEC Summit were robbed at gunpoint on Sunday, according to police and the journalists.
Three armed suspects got out of their car to demand production equipment from the victims before driving away, a spokesperson for the San Francisco Police Department said in a statement. The incident is under investigation.
Television journalist Bohumil Vostal confirmed in an email to NBC News that he and his cameraman Milan Nosek were approached by three armed suspects on Sunday after a day of getting footage of the city. The robbers took equipment worth over $18,000, and he and his team are looking to get their footage back.
San Francisco Police would not confirm or verify if Vostal and Nosek were the victims, saying they cannot identify victims or witnesses.
San Francisco is hosting the week-long APEC summit from November 11 to 17 this year. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jin Ping will be in attendance. The city expects up to 20,000 visitors from over 20 countries for the summit, according to the Department of Emergency Management.
“We don’t want anyone in San Francisco to be a victim of any crime, whether they are a visitor or a resident,” said a statement from Mayor London Breed’s office. “SFPD is actively investigating this case, and we know that when an arrest is made, our District Attorney has taken a strong position of aggressively prosecuting crimes like these.”
Breed told NBC News in a recent interview that she expected the summit to carry a “lasting impact” on the city’s economy and change “the narrative” about San Francisco.
“We are not trying to hide the problems of San Francisco,” Breed responded when asked if she had any concerns about notables entering a “wrong part” of the city. “We hope that people get a chance to experience, of course, great parts of San Francisco but also know that we have our challenges and they are not as bad as what people are trying to portray them as.”
San Francisco saw a 13.7 percent increase in robberies from the year before, according to the SFPD. A little more than a third of respondents in a survey conducted by the city government this year said they felt safe in the city day and night.