In just a week’s time two armed muggings took place on Haarweg. And a masked man tried to pull a female student off her bicycle in the Binnenveld close to campus.
The incidents are unusual in the normally so peaceful Wageningen. The first incident took place on Saturday evening 17 August. A 21-year-old female student was robbed of her handbag on Haarweg. She was also threatened with a weapon.
Shortly before midnight on the following Wednesday (21 August) a female student was cycling home through the Binnenveld. At the intersection of Dijkgraaf and Plassteeg (see map) she was attacked by a man wearing a balaclava. She and her bicycle landed in the shoulder of the road, but she was able to escape.
The incident in the Binnenveld
The student was attacked at the intersection of Dijkgraaf and Plassteeg (see red pin).
A day later she shared her experience via a girlfriend in the Facebook group Wageningen Student Plaza in order to warn fellow students. ‘Wageningen is generally a safe place but we should all be alerted by the fact that something like this can still happen,’ she stated in her post. ‘Please take caution, especially if you bike in the dark by yourself.’
Last Saturday (24 August) was yet another incident and once again on Haarweg. A 22-year-old female student was attacked by three men who jumped out of the bushes and threatened her with a weapon. Although the men were unable to get the student’s bag, the student was slightly injured. De Gelderlander wrote that the student was so terrified that she left her bicycle halfway in the ditch and ran off.
It’s not yet clear whether or not there is a connection between the various incidents, all of which are being investigated by the police. Police spokesperson Marèl van Steenbergen: ‘We would like to know if there are people who might have seen something or who know more. We’re also curious to know if there are people who have a camera that is focused on the public road in that neighbourhood. We would like those people to share these photos with us. If people know more, please contact us.'
The police have shared a description of the three men involved in the mugging on 24 August:
- 20-25 years old;
- They were wearing dark clothes with hoods; there was a white image printed on one man’s sweater;
- They spoke English with a Dutch accent;
- They were wearing gloves.
Suspicious situation? Call the police
‘We understand that situations like these can lead to a feeling of being unsafe,’ said Van Steenbergen, who encourages people to remain alert and to always phone 112 in a suspicious situation.