Chicago TV news crew robbed at gunpoint while reporting on robberies

A television crew in Chicago, reporting on a string of violent robberies in the city, became the victims of a robbery themselves.

The two-member crew of Spanish-language station Univision Chicago was confronted by three robbers wearing ski masks and armed with guns as they were filming just before 5am on Monday in Chicago’s West Town neighbourhood, the network said.

Luis Godinez, vice president of news at Univision Chicago, said the employees were looted of their television cameras and other personal items at gunpoint.

“They were approached with guns and robbed. Mainly it was personal items, and they took a camera,” he told the Chicago Tribune.

He said crew members were filming a segment on increased armed robberies in the West Town neighbourhood, but that story will never make it on air as the footage was on the stolen camera.

Chicago police said no one was hurt in the incident and no arrests have been made yet.

Police identified the victims as two men aged 28 and 42. Their identities were not revealed to protect their privacy.

The two men were robbed by the three accused who were driving in a grey sedan and black SUV. The armed robbers fled with their vehicles soon after the robbery, police said.

There were at least seven robberies between Sunday night and Monday morning, including the one that targeted TV crew, according to CBS Chicago.

There were also reports of two carjackings on the same night in Wicker Park and West Town, the network said.

The incident with the television crew members was the second robbery this month involving a Chicago news crew.

On 8 August, a WLS-TV photographer was robbed and assaulted as he was preparing to cover a news conference on Chicago’s West Side, the station reported.

The National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians Local 41 issued a warning in the wake of rising crime in the city.

“Our news photographers and reporters provide a very important public service in keeping our community informed. We are committed to making sure that their safety comes first,” Raza Siddiqui, president of the union local, said in a statement.

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