U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Czech TV cameraman, reporter robbed at gunpoint in San Francisco

Incident Details


Česká Televize (Czech Television) photographer Milan Nosek and reporter Bohumil Vostal were robbed at gunpoint in San Francisco, California, on Nov. 12, 2023, losing $19,000 in equipment, including the camera he is seen carrying earlier that day.

November 12, 2023

A Česká Televize (Czech Television) photojournalist and reporter were robbed at gunpoint while filming a report in San Francisco, California, on Nov. 12, 2023.

Photographer Milan Nosek and correspondent Bohumil Vostal were recording shortly before 5 p.m. across the street from City Lights Bookstore in the city’s North Beach neighborhood when three masked men approached them. With weapons drawn, the men ordered the journalists to hand over their equipment, Vostal told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker via email.

Vostal said more than $19,000 of equipment was lost, including the crew’s video camera, a GoPro, multiple camera lenses, external batteries, SD cards, microphones and tripods. Footage from a tour around the city and interviews with a representative of the Transgender District and a gallery owner were lost as well.

The journalists quickly called the police and filed a report, but were forced to purchase replacement equipment in order to refilm and to cover the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit taking place in San Francisco at that time.

The San Francisco Police Department told the San Francisco Standard that its robbery unit was investigating. SFPD did not respond to a request for additional information.

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