Winnipeg’s major crimes unit is investigating what police describe as an alarming incident – three separate students were robbed in broad daylight while walking to school.
The students, each in their teens, had been walking to Elmwood High School on Thursday morning between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. Police said each one was approached by a stranger wearing a ski mask and a dark jacket with the hood up.
The person had a weapon and robbed the students.
“It is alarming, and really, because it’s a crime of opportunity it is sometimes difficult to safeguard yourself,” said. Const. Dani McKinnon, a public information officer with the Winnipeg Police Service.
“I mean, these kids are probably walking down this path often to get to school…it’s light out, there’s other pedestrians and other vehicle traffic.”
McKinnon said the students were not injured in the robbery. After handing over the items, she said the suspect took off and the students were able to run safely to school and immediately reported what happened.
She said in this case, the students did everything right – they handed over their property without fighting and were able to get away safely.
“Although there may be some burden and expense and inconvenience, all material goods can be replaced,” McKinnon said. “Unfortunately, we know that there has been other scenarios similar to this and things have escalated.”
The Winnipeg School Division confirmed it has sent out a notification to parents informing them of what happened. The division deferred any further comment to police.
The Major Crimes Unit is now canvassing the area and looking for video surveillance that may help them find the suspect. The description of the suspect is light on details – a male wearing a ski mask and a dark jacket with the hood pulled up.
Investigators are asking residents and businesses in the area to check any video surveillance that could help identify the suspect. Anyone with information is asked to contact Major Crimes Unit investigators at 204-986-6219 or contact Crime Stoppers.
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