Three Grade 7 pupils were returned safely to the Wesley Practising School in Salt River after they were robbed by a man on Monday afternoon.
There was speculation on the Woodstock Cape Town Facebook page that it was another attempted child kidnapping, but Woodstock police said the children had been robbed not abducted.
Woodstock police spokesman, Sergeant Hilton Malila, the boys had been on the playground after school when a stranger had approached them and told them the principal had said they should go with him to carry computers for the school.
“The boys believed the man and accompanied him to a parked Avanza vehicle in front of the school.
“When the children got into the vehicle, the man, who was the passenger, then ordered them to put all their cellphones in one school bag.
“The man ordered the driver to drive and when they approached the Salt River circle one of the boys jumped out of the car as he became suspicious,” said Sergeant Malila.
The driver who picks the children up daily was unaware of the passenger’s motives, said Sergeant Malila.
When the driver pulled up next to a building in District Six, the stranger told the boys the computers were inside the building, but when they went to get them a security guard denied them entry.
The boys returned to the car to find the stranger and the bag with their cell phones had vanished.
The driver of the vehicle, who knew nothing of the scheme, returned the children to the school, and the boys told the principal what had happened. Woodstock police are investigating the robbery.
Principal, Andre Engel, said that they are deeply concerned and troubled by this event. “The safety of our learners, however, after and before school hours is sometimes beyond our control. I, therefore, urge all parents to ensure that they drop and collect their children at the reasonable times, 30 minutes before and after for school and after-school activities,” he said