Violent Crime

Security Guard Shot And Killed While Protecting Bay Area News Crew That Was Covering Rampant, Organized Retail Theft


A security guard was shot and killed in Oakland while protecting a local news crew over the weekend. Kevin Nishita, a former police officer who was working as an armed guard for Star Protection Agency, was shot in the stomach during an attempted robbery. The news crew was covering a string of organized, smash-and-grab retail thefts that have been ongoing in the region.

A KRON-TV camera crew was covering a smash-and-grab retail theft at the Prime 356 clothing store in downtown Oakland prior to the shooting. A video of the incident went viral earlier this month, which shows a large group of thieves rushing the store then clearing it out of merchandise. The robbery marked the second time the clothing store had been cleared out by vandals over the span of a month.

Nitisha was killed when a group of armed robbers attempted to steal the crew’s camera equipment. He was shot in the abdomen during the robbery attempt and later died from his injuries. “We are devastated by the loss of security guard and our friend, Kevin Nishita. Our deepest sympathy goes to Kevin’s wife, his children, his family, and to all his friends and colleagues,” KRON-TV’s vice president and general manager Jim Rose said in a statement on Saturday. A reward of $32,500 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest in the killing.

Organized retail thefts such as the viral Prime 356 robbery have become a common occurrence throughout the region in recent months. San Francisco and Oakland have recorded many such instances while similar thefts have been reported in Los Angeles and Beverley Hills. “This senseless loss of life is due to yet another violent criminal act in the Bay Area. We hope that offering a reward will help lead to the arrest of those responsible so they can face justice for this terrible tragedy,” Rose said.

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At least eight thieves stormed a Home Depot and stole a large quantity of tools in Lakewood on Black Friday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department. Four people who are suspected to have participated in the Home Depot robbery were later arrested in Beverly Hills after officers stopped two cars that were part of a “caravan” of vehicles driving around the city’s business district, law enforcement officials said. Bystanders called police after noticing that the vehicles displayed unmarked license plates.

Criminals have been able to take advantage of Proposition 47, which downgraded multiple crimes such as shoplifting, grand theft, receiving stolen property, forgery, and fraud. As long as the value of the goods stolen remains under $950, the thief will not be hit with felony charges.


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