A crew reporting on a nationwide crackdown on so-called “crash-and-grab” home burglaries says it was the target of a shooting, and alleges that its member was hit in the face.
The crews, working for the Los Angeles radio station KLAA, said on Friday that an armed robber smashed the windshield of a car and abducted them during a series of drive-by shootings in Escondido, California. The crew and the security guard, whose foot was shattered by a bullet, were unharmed.
A spokesman for sheriff’s department said investigators were aware of the shooting, but declined to comment on the details.
KLAA said the robbery-like incident began when the crew first arrived at a home in a well-to-do San Diego neighborhood. It said the home did not belong to them. According to the TV news crew, its crew’s car was soon “rammed repeatedly by at least one gunman” and the crew was carjacked by one of the robbers.
KLAA identified the security guard as Anthony Prado, who has worked for Southern California law enforcement for 15 years. It said Prado told the station he had followed the stolen vehicle to a home in a lower-class neighborhood nearby and ordered the suspects to get out of the car.
Prado said as he moved to surround them, one of the robbers took out a handgun and shot him in the foot, killing his shot-up foot, before fleeing.
“I don’t even know who [the gunman] was. I just remember him as if he was a shadow. I was kind of worried that I was going to get shot or killed,” Prado said, according to the station.
KLAA said that later that evening, Prado and a television crew of three were checking out the scene of a shooting near downtown when a second car, a Chevy Malibu, arrived and a man inside pointed a gun at the crew and fled in their car. A letter sent to the owner of the Chevrolet Malibu and obtained by the station said the car had been stolen from a Las Vegas delivery van, and had a security camera that recorded video of the robbery.
Local broadcaster KRON reported that Prado was still hospitalized and undergoing surgery for a shattered foot on Friday afternoon.
According to the station, the shooting appears to be part of an uptick in “crash-and-grab” burglaries. “They are a despicable crime,” the station said. “It’s a home invasion, they break in, they take possessions from inside and take off. The victims don’t know if they’re armed. They aren’t usually caught on camera.”
In a previous reported burglary in San Diego, the security guard shot a robber in the back and saved the lives of two women and two children, according to KTLA.