Another shocking armed robbery and a violent mugging on campus: Selly crime wave spiralling out of control
The students were subjected to death threats with a foot-long machete
• Eight students threatened at knifepoint by machete-wielding gang
• The second armed robbery in Selly Oak in as many weeks
• Two similar robberies reported on Friday night
• Another attempted-mugging took place last night on campus
• Police urge witnesses to call 101
Eight traumatised students were left fearing for their lives on Friday night, when a machete-wielding gang attempted to rob the group as they returned home from a house party along the Bournbrook Road.
The incident, which took place at approximately 2.30 am, is the second armed robbery to have struck Selly Oak in as many weeks, and was followed just one day later by an attempted mugging on campus.
One of the students confronted by the gang had a foot-long knife held to his chest, and was told “empty your pockets, or we’ll kill you.”
The West Midlands Police confirmed that two other robberies were reported in the area on the night- potentially committed by the same gang.
The robbery occurred when the group of students- made up of two girls and six boys- were confronted by three young black males.
The two male students at the front of the group were confronted by the gang first, who demanded they hand over their belongings.
When a third student- second year Maan Singh- intervened, he was surrounded and told repeatedly to empty his pockets.
On failing to do so, one of the gang members took a foot-long knife and held it against his chest. Maan was then told that if he did not hand over his items they would kill him.
Corinne Brooks, a female student walking with the group, observed the incident before backing away and then running from the robbers, fearing she too would be threatened.
Fleeing from the scene, Corinne rang two male friends who had returned from the party minutes earlier. They proceeded to rush from their house to find her, eventually tracking her down on Exeter road.
The thieves allegedly panicked at this point. Fearing she would call the police, they opted to flee the scene on foot.
Following the attack, several victims spoke to The Tab about their ordeal.
Civil Engineer Maan said: “I thought they were going to take my life, I count myself lucky I wasn’t harmed.
“I’m both shocked and relieved that nobody was hurt given the nature of the situation- it could have ended very badly.
“Even now I’m still shaken by it, and I don’t feel safe anymore. I have to think twice about even walking out the front door. I wouldn’t leave the house at night now.”
Corinne, a third year english student continued: “I was absolutely terrified, I thought they were going to kill my friends. I backed away from the confrontation because I was so frightened. I just couldn’t believe it.
“I felt so vulnerable- I have never experienced anything like this in my life.
“After reading about so many incidents recently, including the Tiverton robbery, this has made it clear to me that anybody could be a victim. It feels like the situation is getting out of hand.”
Attack on campus
Last night, following the previous day’s robbery, a similarly concerning incident occurred on the University campus around 10pm, when a third year male student fell prey to another gang-related mugging.
He was walking home from the library when a gang of three males ambushed him. He was attacked from behind, with one of the thugs placing him in a headlock while the other two attempted to rob his possessions.
All three members of the gang have been described as tall, well built, dark-haired, and appeared to have Eastern European accents.
Luckily the student managed to wrestle free, and the mugging was interrupted by several other students also walking back from the Library.
The attackers then took flight from the scene, heading south towards the Bournbrook rugby pitch.
Speaking in an interview with The Tab, the student said the incident had badly shaken him, but no serious injuries had been inflicted.
“I will be making a conscious effort to return home earlier from campus however,”he added.
“It feels like there has been an upsurge in student-related attacks recently, and I feel it has something to do with students walking home with laptops and valuables late at night.”
In response to the two incidents a University of Birmingham spokesperson told The Tab: “Although crime statistics for incidents off campus are outside our control, campus itself remains a very safe place. We are cooperating with police, and continuing to ensure that our students are safe on site.”
Sergeant Simon Williams of the West Midlands Police said: “We have arrested three male suspects for a robbery committed just outside the Selly Oak area but believe the offenders are connected to the offences we are investigating in Bournbrook – they are on police bail with curfews.”
Follow The Tab on Facebook for important updates.