String of Robberies Target International Students at Parkville Campus

11 March 2016

“I was so terrified, as if I were dreaming.”

Mary, an international graduate student in Melbourne University was robbed of her iPhone on Grattan Street at 9.10pm on Tuesday night.

“My last lecture ended at 9pm,” she said.

She was frightened to walk home alone that she checked time on her phone and held it tightly.

“It just happened. The robber wrestled my phone from me then ran away fast. He even punched at me when I tried to grab back my phone, so I released it,” Mary told Farrago.

Some passers-by intended to chase after the robber, but unexpectedly, four other men emerged and gathered on the street threatening them.

This was not the only robbery confronted to students near the University.

On 11 February, two men robbed two women students of their phones as they were chatting and updating their social media near the Lincoln Square tram stop at around 9pm.

On 28 February, one man snatched up the phone of a male student at the Melbourne University tram stop at around 8pm.

A group of five or six men targeted students, especially the international students’ phones and cash, in Carlton. They committed the crime after sunset and wore vests and running shoes.

Mary has been to the police office, but it’s hopeless.

“The police said it was not urgent and emphasised the phone was stolen rather than robbed,” she said.

“It is a time when the Police and Corrections Minister Wade Noonan has taken an extended leave due to ‘unspeakable crimes and traumatic events’, therefore, the police may not take it seriously,” Mary said with a little disappointment.

“We’ve been aware of the issue recently, but we are sorry that we cannot do much for the robbed people,” Yu Kong Low, the president of UMSU International told Farrago.

If any students are feeling unsafe on campus, they can access to the security escort provided by the University.

More details can be found at

Image taken by David Ansen.

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