TV News Crew Robbed on Story About 'Sketchy' Neighborhoods

Someone broke into their van as they interviewed residents
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2014 3:23 PM CDT
TV News Crew Robbed on Story About 'Sketchy' Neighborhoods

A TV news crew out of DC that set out to determine whether a local neighborhood was indeed as "sketchy" as a new app suggested ended up becoming crime victims, reports Mediabistro. As the three-person crew from WUSA-TV interviewed residents of the Petworth neighborhood to see how they felt about the "sketchy" designation (they weren't thrilled), someone busted into the parked van and stole most of their gear. The thieves also stole one crew member's purse, and she was able to track it to a nearby dumpster because her phone was inside.

As for that app, the crew didn't name it, but Business Insider says it sounds like a new one called SketchFactor. The idea is to give users a sense of a particular neighborhood's "sketchiness" factor, and it's not sitting well with critics. At Valleywag, for instance, Sam Biddle calls it racist because it's all about helping white people avoid black neighborhoods. "Sketchy," he adds, is "the term young white people use to describe places where they don't feel safe because they watched all five seasons of The Wire." (Click here and here to read about two other news crews that got mugged on the job.)

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