CNN Australia affiliate Seven News reported that the network’s Europe correspondent, Laurel Irving, and cameraman Jimmy Cannon were finishing up a live broadcast Wednesday night local time when they were accosted by two men wearing ski masks.
One demanded the camera, telling Cannon that he had a gun concealed in his pocket.
“They came up immediately and they were wearing masks so I knew something was going on. Before he came over, I saw him reach into his pants and transfer something from his pants,” Cannon told Seven’s Sunrise program.
“He said, ‘Hey, I have a gun in my jacket, don’t make a scene.'”
The incident happened around 10 p.m. local time (5 p.m. ET) Wednesday in the affluent London suburb of Islington.
Footage from a dashcam shows the two men approaching Cannon. Momentarily distracted, Irving tells the camera that there is a disturbance. The $19,000 (A$25,000) camera is then removed from its tripod — while still filming — and taken by the robbers.
Irving, who tried to intervene before being told by Cannon to let the robbers take the camera, called the mugging “brazen.”
“We were in an upmarket area, surrounded by restaurants and cafes and it was not that late. Thousands of buses were going past but these guys pulled it off,” she said.
Neither Irving nor Cannon was harmed during the incident, a Seven representative said. Irving later tweeted her appreciation for viewers’ concern, and praised her colleague.
“Thanks everyone for the love. We’re all good,” the tweet reads. “(Cannon) was fantastic. The London crime rate though is crazy.”
London Metropolitan Police statistics show a total of 47,587 thefts from people were reported in the 2017-18 financial year, a 25% increase over the previous year.
Just days before the Seven crew was robbed it emerged that British actor Benedict Cumberbatch fought off a group of assailants attempting to mug a delivery cyclist.
Cumberbatch, 41, reportedly jumped out of his Uber cab to help a cyclist from the food delivery company Deliveroo, who was being attacked by a group of would-be muggers in central London.
In a statement, London’s Metropolitan Police said a cyclist in his 20s was making a delivery when four men pounced on him and punched him in the face in an attempt to take his bike.
The incident reportedly happened in November, but only came to light recently, according to British tabloid the Sun.
The paper also reported that British comedian Michael McIntyre was mugged by a pair of knife- and hammer-wielding assailants as he dropped his young son off at school earlier in June.