Students and parents in the Cloverdale area are being warned about recent robberies involving students from Lord Tweedsmuir who were approached while walking home from school.
The “upsetting incidents” prompted Lord Tweedsmuir principal Allan Buggie to issue a safety warning urging students to steer clear of shortcuts and to pay closer attention to their surroundings.
The first incident took place in Greenaway Park the week before Christmas break. Three men brandishing a can of pepper spray or mace threatened students who were walking along the pathway that runs from past Greenaway pool to the parking lot on 60 Avenue. They were forced to hand over cellphones and other valuables.
The suspects, described as being in their early 20s, were driving a black SUV, Buggie said.
Then, two weeks ago, three or four young men robbed another group of students who were walking home through a public laneway north of the high school near 64 Avenue. The suspects, also in their early 20s, were driving a silver Honda Accord or Toyota Corolla vehicle.
None of the students were physically harmed, and the Surrey RCMP’s investigation continues.
Meanwhile, the alert is being shared with Lord Tweedsmuir’s feeder elementary schools and all secondary schools in the district, Buggie said.
All incidents took place between 2:40 p.m. and 3 p.m., according to Buggie, who added students are being advised to take precautions such as sticking to main routes and avoiding lanes, forested and secluded areas.
Other precautions include walking with friends, paying attention to instincts and feelings, and not to text and walk at the same time.
“We’re just asking them to be more aware of their surroundings, and who might be down the trail,” he said, adding students are also being reminded to keep their cell phones and electronic gadgets out of sight on the street.
“Instead of walking down the street texting, be aware of what’s going around you,” he said.