2008-02-16 : Armed robbers hold up Bergvliet pupils

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2008-02-16 : Armed robbers hold up Bergvliet pupils

Postby GOSA » Fri, 2008-03-07 08:09

Armed robbers hold up Bergvliet pupils


16 February 2008, 13:50

By Helen Bamford

A Bergvliet High School pupil had a gun thrust in her face by a man who
demanded R5 and a cellphone - the first of three incidents involving pupils
from her school.

The brazen attacks all occurred on Thursday. Principal Vernon Wood described
the hold-ups as a "lightning bolt out of the blue".

He said the first two armed robberies happened within minutes of each other,
both in Sweet Valley Road, as the pupils were on their way to school.

A boy and a girl, both in Grade 10, were accosted by two men, one described
as tall and blond and the other coloured. The men wanted money and
cellphones and, when they got neither, they held up a Grade 11 girl walking
on her own.

Wood said there was speculation that the men were ex-prisoners who had been
released the day before, but this could not be confirmed.

The third incident happened in the afternoon when a Grade 8 pupil was mugged
by a man who stole his cellphone before escaping in a getaway car carrying
another man and a young woman. An eye-witness said the car could have been a
maroon Ford Escort.

Wood said that Sweet Valley Road was a hotspot for muggings.

"The robbers also know that 90 percent of school kids have cellphones."

He said he had recommended that parents tell their children not to take
their phones to school and had appealed to pupils not to play with their
phones outside the school.

In 2006 the school implemented extra security measures after a spate of

The school had 24-hour security, said Wood.

There were also regular patrols by BKM Watch, the neighbourhood watch
covering Bergvliet, Kreupelbosch and Meadowridge.

Co-founder of the neighbourhood watch, Tony Schreiber, described the armed
hold-ups as shocking. "I think they are opportunistic but we need to get
these scum off our streets."

Police spokesperson Captain Elliot Sinyangana confirmed the incidents.

There have been no arrests.

* This article was originally published on page 1 of The Cape Argus on
February 16, 2008
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