One of the worst experiences — being robbed in abroad

Do not be a victim, we should learn to protect ourselves.

Passprot and flash drive that Francis took back from police station

It was 11th May 2015; the morning was cold and wet with brisk wind. After staying up all night study, Francis Fang, a student of Monash University, was still sleeping on his warm and cozy bed having a sweet dream. A sudden succession of shrill rings cut the silence, Francis was startled to pick the phone up,and he impatiently asked who is there with his hoarse voice, on the other end of the line was a policeman, and he asked Francis to go to police station within one hour.

There was not much time for Francis to wash and dress up, because it would take him around twenty minutes to go to the tram station and another twenty minutes’ journey to go to police station. In order to get police station on time, he could only do all of the things very quickly, but he was still a little bit late. He apologized for being late and explained the reason why he came here, the policeman was very nice and profoundly sorry for Francis bad experience of being robbed before. Soon, Francis met the police who gave Francis a ring before. The police man told him that there had good news and a bad news for Francis, the good news was that there was a gentleman who picked up some Francis personal belongings that had been robbed by robbers; the bad news was that they were still looking for the muggers. Although policemen still did not find the robbers, at least Francis got back his passport,his flash drive and his black wallet.

Passport, flash drive and empty wallet sound worthless, but all of these things were very valuable for Francis. The passport is the most important identification papers for him, without the passport, he would be an illegal resident in Australia, but unfortunately some important pages of the passport had been destroyed by the robbers, so Francis had to apply a new one. The flash drive was still working and stored many important study materials, and the empty wallet was given by his mother as birthday present, so all of these stuffs are very valuable for him, so when Francis got all of these personal stuffs back, he was so excited on that day, as he said: “I had never thought that I can get these things back, before I got them”, even though all of his money and his phone were taken away by three robbers.

Every time when Francis was asked about the experience of being robbed, he always looks very nervous in his mind, even though he talks it very calmly. It was on 27 April 2015, and the time was around at 10pm, after finishing all of his school and having dinner with his friends at school, Francis was on his way to go back his home with one of his friends, when they were still immersed in their happy word with songs about love, as the light faded and the environment surrounded them became a little bit bleak, there were only the music and their long shadows accompanying them, but they felt absolutely fearless, because they thought they were two big men, there was nothing to worry about. All of a sudden, there was a car stopping beside them, and there were three men getting off the car, “I still remember that one of them was a black man, he looks very strong and powerful, and the other two were with white skin, and the African man held a gun in his hand”.

“They stopped our way with a gun and threatened us being quiet, otherwise they will shoot us” said Francis. At that time, Francis’s mind went totally blank, though he tried very hard to tell himself being calm down. He could feel that his heart started beat very fast and his body was trembling at that time, he even felt having trouble breathing. “I screwed up my courage and tried to talk with the robbers, but I was just unable to make any sound” said Francis with a bitter smile.

After a very quick pausing, one of the muggers began to speak, and he asked Francis and the friend of Francis for money and other valuable items violently, “at that time, my friend and I were too nervous to response the muggers, then one of the muggers punched my friend and I in the face heavily, and threatened us just do what they say”, said Francis. In order to avoid getting hurt, Francis and his friend took off their backpacks and tried to find some money to give the muggers, then there was some sounds not far away from them, it sounded like that there was someone walking towards them.

“I think that maybe because the muggers were also very nervous about their horrible doing, they were afraid of their illegal action being found by others” Said Francis. When the robbers realized that there may be someone waking toward them, they did not wait Francis and the friend of Francis to give them their valuable items; they just robbed all of things and disappeared in the air with their car.

“All of things happened so quick, we did not have any time to think and take any reaction” said Francis. Although all of things happened no more than ten minutes, in Francis mind, all of the time is more than a century, and it will take a long time to forget it. “Personally, I never thought this kind of things would happen on me, but now the only thing I am still thankful is that I did not get really hurt during that horrible experience” said Francis.

“When the muggers left, my friend and I suddenly realized that we were robbed, we were robbed, but until now we still could not believe that we had been robbed” said Francis. After they realized that they had been robbed, they started to be more conscious and they wanted to call the policemen for help, but unfortunately they not only did not have a phone at that time, and they also did not know the police emergency number in Australia. Meanwhile, the weather became darker, and there was no passerby at that time, suddenly, they felt extremely hopeless, so the only solution for them was to go back home first, then asking for the help of their landlord.

After being robbed, Francis took this picture.

“After being robbed, I have got a lot of help from both policemen and my university, and I also attended psychological consult at my school” said Francis, all of these help indeed made Francis to get recovery, but that terrible experience has remained indelible effect on his mind. During that experience, he lost his money, cell-phone, and his homework, and it also left a deep psychological shadow for Francis and his friend. “I really hate the robber” Said Francis. Francis also said that robbers not only took away his money and phone, they also took away a lot of his homework, in order to make homework up, and there was more than one week that he did not sleep well.

“To be honest, being robbed is one of the most terrible experiences that I have ever had”, said Francis. After being robbed, Francis has been very sensitive about the environment around him, as he said: “I alert all of strangers”.

Meanwhile, when Francis talked about his experience of being robbed, he also mentioned that there was one of his friends in Melbourne university also being robbed last month, it also happened at a late night, when his friend was focusing on playing phone on the way back home, then someone suddenly rushed his friend and took his friend’s phone away.

Chinese students have been considered as one of the biggest group studying at Melbourne, and there were many Chinese students being mugged in Melbourne, a lot of parents in China have a very deep concern about their children’s safety in Melbourne, and the incident has also arisen Chinese consular officials’ extensive attention, and they have suggested Chinese students avoiding to go out alone after dark, and try to understand some important Australia laws and regulations, at least know some important emergency numbers.

“We have dealt with a lot of cases of Chinese students being robbed” Said David Smith, a staff of Victoria Police Center. During all of those robbery cases, David has found a common phenomenon among these victims, almost all of incidents happened at night, and all of those victims had a low level of vigilance and the most of them were lack of protective consciousness, “people should be on high alert, especially when they are out and alone at night”, said David.

Meanwhile, many Chinese students like to wear designer clothes and carry luxury handbags and bring expensive phones to go out, so many criminals think that Chinese students are very wealthy and their properties can be traded for good price. “Many gang members also believe that Chinese students are easy to target and unlikely to fight back when they are robbed”, said David. Therefore, all of these factors have made Chinese students to be easily targeted by criminals.

There is a website of Study Melbourne Student Centre (SMSC), and there are many useful advices intending to help international students deal with emergency situations.

Sometimes, there is always danger, so people should be responsible for their own safty.



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