Stevenson students, chaperones robbed in South Africa

Thirty Stevenson University students and five of their chaperones were robbed Sunday shortly after arriving in South Africa for an educational trip.

Around 1 p.m. Pretoria time, which is 7 a.m. in Baltimore, 30 students and five of their six chaperones were surrounded and robbed while on a tourist bus in South Africa, according to the university.

No one was injured.

The robbery happened shortly after the group arrived for a five-week educational trip.Counseling is available for those involved, according to the university.

The South African government metropolitan police and its deputy national police commissioner were contacted immediately after the robbery.

"This is the 4th such tour of South Africa that the university has led and no serious incidents have occurred in the past. Our chaperones are working with officials in assisting with funds, passports and other support as needed,” Jim Salvucci, Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, said in the release.

Frederick Bealefeld, former Baltimore City Police Commissioner and current Stevenson faculty member, is among the chaperones on the trip. The university said Bealefeld reported the local authorities are supportive and handling everyone is “handling this incident as well as could be expected,” the release states.

"The students remained calm and focused despite the pressure and fear, and the situation ended without injury to anyone,” Bealefeld said in the release.

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