San Francisco police said they have caught one of the men who attacked and robbed two Bay Area television news camera crews last month.
The suspect, identified by police as 23-year-old Michael A. Jones, tried to run from officers when they grabbed him at a Fremont motel late last month, authorities said. He was charged on July 27.
Jones, a San Francisco resident, pleaded not guilty to armed robbery and related charges in court Tuesday. Police said he is affiliated with a local gang well known for robberies and car burglaries in the city.
SFPD Chief Greg Suhr said Jones was driving a black BMW that pulled up to a pair of news vans at Pier 14 on July 2. According to police, Jones and two others wearing masks got out of the car and pointed a handgun at an NBC Bay Area videographer and reporter.
San Francisco police said they got a tip from Oakland police about the black BMW.
One of the suspects hit the videographer with the gun and stole his camera and tripod. The suspects then went after a news crew from KTVU, taking their gear as they were about to go on the air.
The news crews were at Pier 14 to report on shooting death of Kate Steinle on San Francisco's waterfront.
Chief Suhr said his investigators are looking for the two remaining suspects and the missing cameras.
As of now the equipment stolen in the July 2 robbery have not been recovered, but police said they have leads, and the local television stations are working to outfit cameras with tracking devices.
“They say the No. 1 deterrent to crime is fear of being caught,” Chief Suhr said. “This guy was caught. We’re confident we’re going to get his crime partners. And in the future, with this tracking technology, this is not a crime worth committing.”
Jones is due back in court on Friday on charges unrelated to the July 2.