San Francisco police arrest pair linked to weekend robbery of TV news crew

SFPD says data from 2018 to 2019 shows that crime is down.

Police in San Francisco on Tuesday announced the arrest of two men accused of robbing a TV news crews over the weekend as the victims were filming in the city's South of Market neighborhood.

The robbery happened on Saturday around 6:50 p.m. near the corner of Bryant and Fifth streets.

Three suspects allegedly pulled up in a dark colored Lexus and two then exited and demanded that the victims hand over their camera. The two suspects claimed to have a firearm, simulating a gun with their hands concealed beneath their clothes, police said.

The victims complied and the suspects fled in the Lexus, heading east on the Bay Bridge, according to police.

Moments after the robbery, the victims flagged down officers on motorcycles and reported the robbery. The victims were able to give descriptions of the suspects, as well as provide the suspect vehicle's license plate number.

Using that number, officers were able to track the Lexus to a home on Treasure Island. Once there, officers located and stopped the vehicle, detaining a 20-year-old man and 15-year-old boy.

Officers also detained the occupants of a nearby white Honda they determined was associated with the Lexus, identified as 18-year-old Ronnell Edward Johnson and 21-year-old Romell Boyland, both of San Francisco.

Inside the Honda, officers located the video camera taken in the news crew robbery, as well as a camera that had also been reported stolen earlier on Saturday in the 1300 block of Haight Street.

Officers arrested Johnson on suspicion of robbery, possession of stolen property and conspiracy. Officers arrested Boyland on suspicion of possession of stolen property, conspiracy and for violating probation in connection with a previous aggravated assault case, police said.

They are both in custody in county jail, pending charging decisions by the District Attorney’s Office, SFPD said. 

The 20-year-old and teen who were detained were released at the scene, pending further investigation.

Anyone with information about the case is being asked to contact the Police Department's 24-hour anonymous tipline at (415) 575-444 or to text a tip to TIP411 with "SFPD" at the beginning of the message.