Police search for trio of armed thieves

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kidnap gang victim INLSA One of the UCT students that was part of the UCT Hijackings. Picture: Leon Lestrade

Cape Town - Police have urged anyone with information regarding three recent incidents in which UCT students were held up and forced to withdraw money from ATMs to come forward.

On Sunday, the Weekend Argus reported the story of a 23-year-old marketing student who told how he and a friend had been forced into a car on Thursday evening.

The student said a white car had pulled up beside them at about 8.15pm on Main Road, Newlands, and that the occupants of the car had told them that they were from Joburg and were lost.

A gun was pulled out and the two friends were forced into the car, robbed of their possessions and driven to an ATM where they were forced to withdraw cash.

Police said this was the third such incident involving UCT students in the past few weeks and that the incidents had taken place in the Claremont, Rondebosch and Mowbray areas.

In a statement on Friday, police said: “The modus in all three incidents is that while students are walking during the day, they are approached by a vehicle with unknown occupants under the pretext of wanting directions. Once they strike up a conversation with the students, they then request them to get into the vehicles and physically take them to the place in question.”

Police said students were then robbed of their laptops and iPhones and forced to withdraw cash from their bank accounts. According to the statement, three coloured men were involved in all three incidents.

Students have been urged to be on the lookout for a small black car and a white Mercedes Benz.

Lyon Campbell, a university spokeswoman, told the Weekend Argus that Campus Protection Services and the Groote Schuur Community Improvement District were assisting police in raising public awareness about the incidents.

Anyone with information can contact Crime Stop on 086 001 0111. - Cape Argus

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