CNN reporter robbed in San Francisco while doing story on 'rampant street crime' with city officials

 March 19, 2023

In a remarkably ironic turn of events, a CNN reporter's rental car was broken into by thieves in San Francisco, California, while she was interviewing local authorities on the city's serious crime problems, Fox News reported.

The journalist shared her experience in a series of tweets on Friday and the reaction in the replies was a mix of sympathy from some, commiseration from others who'd had similar experiences, and more than a few who offered a bluntly realistic appraisal of the predictable results of local soft-on-crime policies imposed by local and state politicians.

The reporter was covering "rampant street crime #irony"

"Got robbed. Again," CNN senior national correspondent Kyung Lah revealed Friday afternoon. "[CNN senior producer Jason Kravarik] & I were at city hall in San Francisco to do an interview for @CNN. We had security to watch our rental car + crew car. Thieves did this in under 4 seconds. Security stopped the jerks from stealing other bags. But seriously -- this is ridiculous."

"Our hired security guard tried to grab the crooks (I’m glad he didn’t get hurt!) but he got this picture of the getaway car. To the jerks who stole our stuff -- I hope someone on this site sees your plate and you get caught," she continued with a clear picture of the rear license plate of the vehicle used by the thieves. Lah also issued personal thanks to the pair of San Francisco Police Department officers who had responded to the incident.

Along with a brief video clip of the smashed-out rear window of her rental car, the reporter added, "San Francisco is a beautiful city. This is our 3rd day here and I’ve loved my time here. But if you do visit this city, know that even with hired security watching your car, it is not enough.

The reporter later pointed out, "BTW; @jasonkCNN and I are in San Francisco doing a story about voter discontent bc of rampant street crime #irony."

The aftermath

Lah's unexpected personal angle story on the crime problem in San Francisco did not end there, though, as she proceeded to update her Twitter followers on the aftermath of the break-in -- again, eliciting sympathy from some and the cold reflection of reality from others.

"Now I’m about to try and get an @SouthwestAir flight back to Los Angeles without ID or passport since they were both stolen. I’ll let you know how that goes …," she said. In a since-deleted tweet, Lah also revealed, "Bc so many people get their cars broken into and their bags stolen, @SouthwestAir was very used to my lack-of-ID problem and smoothly gave me my ticket after a brief security check. Off to TSA now."

In a follow-up tweet, the CNN correspondent thanked a particularly helpful TSA agent at the Oakland airport and said she'd been informed that, "Also, if you fly out of Oakland, know the gas stations are being hit around the airport. Teams here in Oakland say passengers show up crying bc their bags are all stolen, all in seconds."

Lah later noted that her stolen bag had eventually been recovered but that her producer's stolen bag was still missing, praised the local organization that had helped find her stuff, and added, "SF is filled w/good, frustrated people who deserve better."

News crews targeted for their equipment

Relatedly, Lah's thread was retweeted by local NBC News reporter Christine Ni, who wrote, "This happens a lot. I hate even writing that this is the 'norm'. News crews working in the field everyday in SF & Bay Area -- always have their head on a swivel, even with a security guard. It's always something ... and the job gets harder to do, as a result."

The CNN reporter replied, "The SF city supervisor I was interviewing told me local crews were using iPhones to conduct interviews— for their own safety and to avoid being targeted," to which the NBC reporter confirmed, "Yes … that is correct. Big cameras make us stand out."

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