Czech news crew covering APEC in San Francisco robbed, reports say

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A Czech television news crew was robbed while covering the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco, according to reports.

Journalist Bohumil Vostal told the San Francisco Chronicle he was getting a shot of City Lights Bookstore “when three masked assailants approached with guns pointed.”

“They were heading at my camera man, aiming a gun at his stomach, and one at my head,” Vostal said. He added the incident happened around 5 p.m. Sunday.

The San Francisco Police Department confirmed to KTVU FOX 2 it is investigating an armed robbery of a production team in the area of Broadway and Columbus Avenue. 

SAN FRANCISCO USING FENCING, BARRIERS TO SECURE APEC SUMMIT WHERE XI, BIDEN WILL MEET

San Francisco police are seen at APEC

Police wait on a corner near the Moscone Convention Center hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ week in San Francisco on Nov. 13, 2023. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Officers told the media outlet a vehicle stopped on the street, three armed men exited the car and approached the group prior to demanding their production equipment. The news crew complied, reportedly losing more than $18,000 worth of equipment and footage from a day wandering the Golden City. 

The suspects then got back in their vehicle and took off. 

APEC signs in San Francisco 2023

Signs welcome visitors to the APEC Summit, Monday, Nov. 13, 2023, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

“Thank you very much for the support we received in CT news. We’ll keep shooting. We are here for the US President’s summit with the Chinese leader. And we’ll be there (as always) for CT,” Vostal wrote in Crech on the social media platform X, translated by KTVU.

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APEC summit San Francisco opening remarks

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, center, delivers opening remarks during a finance ministers meeting, as part of the APEC Summit, Monday, Nov. 13, 2023, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

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This year is the first time since 2011 the U.S. is hosting APEC. Leaders from the 21-member group will gather to talk about how to better spur trade and economic growth across the Pacific region.

The main event of this year’s summit is unfolding on the sidelines: a meeting between President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The two leaders have not spoken in person since they met last November during the Group of 20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.

APEC in San Francisco 2023 sign

Signs welcome visitors to the APEC Summit, Monday, Nov. 13, 2023, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Biden is expected to arrive for the conference Tuesday and hold a press conference the following day, after his meeting with Xi. He is set to depart San Francisco on Friday. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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