Insure your car, home and valuables with iWYZE
POLICE have warned UCT students to be vigilant after a spate of armed robberies in the vicinity of the institution.
Three students had been robbed in Claremont, Rondebosch and Mowbray, said police spokesman Frederick van Wyk.
The modus operandi was the same in all three daylight robberies, Van Wyk said.
The students had been approached while walking.
“They are approached by a vehicle with unknown occupants under the pretext of wanting directions. Once they strike up a conversation, they request them to get into the vehicles and physically take them to the place in question.”
Van Wyk said the students had been robbed of their laptops and iPhones while in the car.
“They are also forced to withdraw cash from their bank accounts and hand them over. The suspects then drop the victims off, and flee.”
He said three males had been involved in all the cases and the vehicles used were a small black car and a white Mercedes Benz.
“We urged the students to be on the lookout for these vehicles and immediately report any suspicious behaviour to the SAPS and campus
security,” said Van Wyk.
Students and others took to Twitter over the weekend to spread the word about the danger of robberies.
One user warned: “But guys also be smart – don’t get into people’s cars you don’t know!” Another tweeted: “One has to be an idiot to get into car with strangers in #SouthAfrica!”
UCT spokesperson Campbell Lyons said police had informed the university’s Campus Protection Services (CPS) about the recent spate of robberies in Mowbray, Rondebosch and Claremont.
“CPS and the Groote Schuur Community Improvement District (GSCID) are assisting the police in raising public awareness about the incidents.”
The GSCID was established about two years ago, after a series of murders of students and academics, to address local crime.
UCT students Dominic Giddy and Benny Pakiso Moqobane were killed in February 2010 and September 2009 respectively.
UCT staff member Mike Larkin, a law professor, was murdered in Rondebosch in 2007, while Kevin Rochford, a UCT education professor, was killed in 2008 in Little Mowbray.
The university has contributed R4.5 million towards the establishment of the GSCID which aims to address residents’ concerns about crime, grime, drug dealing, prostitution and homeless people along a strip of Main Road from Dean Street in Newlands to Anzio Road in Observatory.