While reporting on crime in Oakland Monday night, KTVU’s Heather HolmesÂ fell victim of a crime herself, when her purse was stolen.
Holmes, a Texas native who joined KTVU in 2006 after previously working in New York, was doing a live report on a woman who was robbed and beaten around the corner from string of popular restaurants in Oaklandâ€™s Temescal District Monday, but luckily a by-passer helped her when the theft occurred, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Holmes and a photographer were standing near the corner of 7th Street and Broadway in the cityâ€™s downtown for their report. Their van wasnâ€™t locked, because the crew had only recently arrived at the corner, and the vehicle was only steps away.
When Miss Holmes and her photographer returned to the van, they discovered her bag, containing cash, credit cards and other personal items, had been stolen. Someone used Holmesâ€™ bank card at a nearby Chevron gas station on Castro Street within 20 minutes of the theft.
The unfortunate reporter also tweeted early Tuesday: â€śR u kidding me? Doing a live report at @oaklandpoliceca headquarters & my purse is stolen from the live truck! We were parked outside #OPD!!â€ť
Another message read: â€śOh the irony of it allâ€¦while reporting on violent mugging, my purse is stolen. Thieves used my bank card 20 mins after swiping my bag. â€śCredit cards now canceled. Locks changed. Lesson hereâ€¦ be aware of your surroundings at all times, including at police headquarters.â€ť
“Last night I became a news story,” wrote the anchor, who later filed a police report with the Oakland Police Department, on her Facebook page. “But the story shouldn’t be about me. It should be about the young woman in North Oakland who at 6pm yesterday, was beaten for her purse as she walked to meet a friend.”
Television gear was stolen from a KTVU truck in Oakland just three months ago. In another incident, a thief took a camera being used for a live shot in a noon broadcast.
In response, several TV stations, including KPIX, KRON and KGO, have hired security guards to accompany reporters and camera operators in Oakland. Many of the guards are retired police officers.
KTVU does not automatically send security guards out with its crews, but employees who are concerned about their safety can request the escorts, several KTVU staffers said.Guards have been known to accompany TV crews to news conferences where police officers are arguably present in large numbers, says SFGate.