U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Albuquerque news crew watches as news van stolen during report on local crime

Incident Details

June 23, 2017

A news van belonging to NBC-affiliate KOB-TV was stolen in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico, on June 23, 2017, while the news crew was gathering footage for a story on local crime.

KOB News Director Michelle Donaldson told the Albuquerque Journal that the journalists were following up on recent concerns about crime in the area when they watched as a thief drove away in the station’s SUV.

“I have a rule: That you can never be the lead of your own newscast,” Donaldson said. “So this violates that rule.”

According to the Journal, KOB used the GPS tracking device in the van to locate the vehicle within a half hour without police assistance. When they arrived at the location, the thief had already fled and the SUV had sustained damages. The Journal did not detail the extent of the damage done to the vehicle.

“I’m relieved that our people are OK and I’m relieved that we’ve recovered our property, but I’m very angry that somebody can walk up to a parked, locked vehicle in front of you in this city and drive it away,” Donaldson told the Journal. “It’s a helpless feeling to know you can’t do anything about it.”

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].