GERMAN students were the victims of an knifepoint robbery in Hampden Park this week.
The two 14-year-olds were on their way back to their host family on Monday night (August 22) when they were threatened and robbed by two men carrying a baseball bat and a knife.
The youngsters, who are studying with the Jurgen Matthes Language School in Eastbourne, had just got off the bus opposite Hampden Park Infant School and were walking through the alleyway between Brodrick Road and Lottbridge Drive when the incident happened.
They were just about to cross the footbridge over the railway line, at around 11.20pm, when they caught up with the two offenders who were walking slowly in front of them.
The suspects, who had scarves covering their faces, threatened the teenagers with the weapons and stole their phones, cameras and sunglasses.
The men then ran back along the alleyway onto Brodrick Road and up into Hazelwood Avenue.
The teenagers, uninjured but shaken by the incident, reported the matter to police when they returned to their host family’s home.
Detective Inspector Paul Phelps of Eastbourne CID said, “This was a frightening experience for two young boys visiting Eastbourne for the first time.
“Fortunately, neither of them were injured but they were both very shaken.
“Officers have been patrolling the area throughout the night and making house to house enquiries.
“Although the robbery happened around 11.20pm we are hoping that someone may have seen the offenders prior to the incident or when they ran off into Hazelwood Avenue.
“Someone must know who they are and where they live.”
Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999, quoting Operation Columbus.
Alternatively, the independent charity Crimestoppers can be called free and anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Police are reassuring people that robberies like this are rare.
Inspector Steve Tullet from Eastbourne Neighbourhood Police Team said, “Eastbourne is a popular destination for many foreign students who come to the town to study and learn English and also have fun.
“Operation Columbus is designed to work with Eastbourne Borough Council, the police and language schools and to ensure the safety of overseas students during their stay in seaside towns like Eastbourne.
“Incidents like this are rare in Eastbourne and enquiries are in hand to locate the offenders.”