Police are appealing for witnesses to a robbery that occurred near to the canal towpath in Lancaster on Monday afternoon (30th April).
The incident took place around 1.45pm on the grassy area adjacent to the canal towpath at the rear of the Riverview Day Centre on Langdale Road. The 21-year-old victim, who is a final year Fine Arts student at Lancaster University, was taking pictures for a project when he was approached by three youths wearing hooded tops. They asked him for the time and when he produced his Blackberry curve mobile phone from his pocket they have snatched it from him and refused to return it.
After initially leaving, they have turned around and approached him again. One offender punched him before another produced a pair of scissors and pointed them at him, demanding his camera. Fearing for his safety, the student handed the camera over before running away onto the canal towpath where he stopped a passer-by and used her phone to contact the police.
The three offenders made off down Bulk Road onto Caton Road and across towards Skerton. They are all described as white, the youngest was aged around 16 and the other two were between 18-21 years old. All were wearing hooded tops, one of which was beige and grey in colour with a muddy front. They also had a black holdall type bag with them.
DC Ian Wright from Lancaster CID said: “The victim is devastated by what has happened but thankfully suffered no injury as a result of the robbery. I’d appeal to anybody that witnessed this incident or has any information about the persons responsible to come forward.
"The camera stolen is a black Sony A55 SLR digital camera with separate lens. It is worth £560 and is a vital piece of equipment for the victim’s University course. I’d urge anybody that has been offered the camera for sale or has any information about it to contact Lancaster Police on 01524 596634 or 101."
• People with information can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.