Smash and Grab Turns Deadly for Former Officer

Ex-cop Kevin Nishita was protecting a TV news crew covering the break-in
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 28, 2021 5:45 AM CST
Security Guard With TV News Crew Is Killed
Undated photo provided by the Town of Colma Police Department shows ex-cop Kevin Nishita   (Brandon Vaccaro/Colma Police Department via AP)

(Newser) – A security guard has died after he was shot while he protected a San Francisco Bay Area television news crew covering a smash-and-grab theft, part of a rash of organized retail crime in the region, per the AP. Kevin Nishita, a former police officer in several Bay Area communities including San Jose, was hired by KRON-TV Channel 4 to protect the crew and intervened when a suspect reportedly tried to steal their camera. Nishita was shot and later died from his injuries early Saturday morning, per the East Bay Times. A reward of $32,500 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest in Nishita's killing and authorities are asking for help from residents in the area as they search for the white 2004 – 2008 Acura TL 4-door, with a sunroof and no front license plate they believe is connected to the slaying, per KRON4.

In addition to San Jose, Nishita was a police officer for the cities of Hayward and Colma before retiring in 2018. The Alameda County Sheriff's office said deputies escorted his body from the hospital with full law enforcement honors. He leaves behind a wife, two children, and two grandchildren. The region has been struck by organized retail thefts in which bands of thieves, some carrying crowbars and hammers, break into high-end stores and snatch merchandise. Similar thefts have been reported in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills and elsewhere in the country. At least eight thieves stormed a Home Depot store in Lakewood on Black Friday and grabbed hammers, crowbars and sledgehammers in the tool section before dashing off in a getaway vehicle, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said. (Read more smash-and-grab stories.)

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