In a twist of irony, a pair of journalists covering the recent surge of armed robberies in northeast Chicago found themselves the victims of an armed robbery on August 28.
The victims, a reporter and photographer from Univision Chicago, were in the process of capturing footage near Wicker Park at the 1200 block of North Milwaukee Avenue at approximately 5 a.m. in downtown Chicago when they were held at gunpoint.
According to Kellie Bartoli, a spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department, the pair were stationed on the street when a black SUV and a gray sedan pulled up alongside them.
As the vehicles came to a halt, three masked individuals emerged from the SUV and sedan, wielding firearms.
The assailants demanded money and began rummaging through the victims’ SUV, per the police report. After confiscating TV crew’s belongings, the robbers entered their vehicles and fled southbound. Thankfully, no physical harm was inflicted upon the victims.
“Gratefully, the crew is safe,” said Luis Godinez, the local vice president of news for Univision Chicago.
The armed robbers managed to flee with a news camera, two bags containing equipment and personal belongings. To safeguard the privacy of those involved, the names of the crew members were not disclosed by the news outlet.
Details regarding the description of the suspects were notably absent from the police account. At the time of this writing, Bartoli told reporters that no arrest had been made in connection to the case, which remained under investigation by detectives.
Ironically, the TV news crew was documenting a series of armed robberies and carjackings that had plagued the city in recent days.
This incident follows a pattern of increased risks for media personnel, with another Chicago TV news crew falling victim to a similar robbery earlier this month.
As a result, the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians Local 41 has initiated plans to host a safety meeting, allowing its members to voice concerns stemming from their experiences in the field.
In the meantime, some news stations affiliated with the union are taking extra precautions, including assigning security personnel to accompany TV crews.
Raza Siddiqui, president of the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians Local 41, urged for more safety protocols and is working to find a solution for union members.