Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images
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Another TV news crew reporting on crime in a Democrat-run city can now provide firsthand testimony of just how bad things have gotten.
A Univision Chicago TV crew was reporting on a string of armed robberies across the city of Chicago early Monday morning when three men wearing ski masks robbed the crew at gunpoint.
The Chicago Tribune reported that the victims, a reporter and a photographer who have not been named, were filming a segment for the Spanish-language TV station near the 1200 block of North Milwaukee Avenue in the city's West Town.
"They were approached with guns and robbed," said Luis Godinez, vice president of news at Univision Chicago. "Mainly it was personal items, and they took a camera."
Raza Siddiqui, president of the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians Local 41, indicated the suspects demanded cash from the 28-year-old and 42-year-old male victims, then rifled through their SUV, stealing a camera, a personal backpack, and two bags containing equipment, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.
"Gratefully, the crew is safe," said Godinez.
The Univision Chicago vice president indicated the station intentionally downplayed the incident in its subsequent coverage.
"We don't want to make the story about us, because there were other robberies that occurred within that same period," Godinez told the Tribune.
WLS-TV reported that a series of armed robberies and carjacking rocked the South Loop and Northwest Side Sunday and Monday, where two to four thugs at a time would mob, sometimes beat, but always rob their victims.
In one of the incidents, a 67-year-old male victim had complied with armed robbers who demanded his property, but the thugs brutalized him anyway, landing the elderly man in St. Mary's Hospital.
WLS noted that there were at least eight robberies inside that 48-hour window, many of them violent.
According to the Chicago Police Department, there have been 6,543 robberies, 4,821 burglaries, and 13,595 incidents of theft reported so far this year.
Alderman Scott Waguespack of the 32nd Ward said, "I think the brazenness of these criminals has gone behind the pale."
The alderman stressed that in addition to supporting police, "We also need people up on top to say, 'The criminality has to stop.' And I'm talking about the mayor."
Leftist Mayor Brandon Johnson, the former teachers' union organizer elected in April, appears averse to tackling crime directly or with proven methods.
Newsweek reported that Johnson has argued that well-funded police forces and throwing criminals in jail won't make Chicago safer. Instead, he thinks more money should be dumped into mental health care, schools, and affordable housing. Additionally, he has supported sending social workers and EMTs to respond to various 911 calls instead of cops — in a city that reportedly has already seen 396 homicides this year and a total of 643 slayings in the past 12 months.
There have been 19,585 carjackings so far this year, accounting for a 227% increase since 2019. Johnson was recently mocked over suing automakers as a roundabout way of addressing the problem.
When pressed last week on what he has accomplished in his first 100 days in terms of combating street crime, Johnson told CBS Chicago 24,000 youths "were employed for summer positions" and that he has been "working with faith community, the business community, the philanthropic community to make critical investments."
Johnson lashed out at CBS 2 political investigator Dana Kozlov when she noted the number of persons employed by the city's One Summer program was likely closer to 20,000 and questioned whether his so-called remedies were "concrete."
According to Neighborhood Scout, the chances of becoming a victim of a property crime in Chicago with Johnson at the helm are 1 in 42. The chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime are 1 in 115.
The Univision reporter and photographer robbed Monday were not the first in the news media to contribute to those statistics by their victimization this month.
A WLS photographer was beaten and robbed in Chicago on Aug. 8 while preparing to cover a news conference on the West Side, reported the Tribune.
Crime reporters in Democratic cities farther afield have similarly had the distance between them and the stories they cover collapse in recent months.
TheBlaze previously reported that a CNN news team was robbed in San Francisco while reporting on the crime that has begun to define that city.
Despite having personal security on watch, Kyung Lah and Jason Kravarik – senior producer for CNN’s Los Angeles bureau – had their car looted by thieves while they were inside City Hall for a story about crime affecting Asians in San Francisco.
Lah stressed online, "This is ridiculous."
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Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.