Latin America Current Events & News - Section » Ecuador:
Students are at increased risk of being robbed and assaulted in a number of school zones in Quito and environs.
A number of methods are used by assailants to relieve students of
their cell phones, smartphones, and tablets. Many thieves will be
dressed as a student in a similar school uniform which leads the victim
to being vulnerable.
Sometimes assailants are in vehicles along the street and work in
conjunction with another gang member dressed like a student and
approaches the victim, when the assailants jump out of the car and make
threats with knives or guns.
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Statistics indicate that in 2011, there were 2,410 robberies of
students reported. In 2012, the number was 2,415. So far in 2013, in the
northern administrative zone of Quito, there have been 160 robberies of
students recorded. Other statistics reveal that the overall number of
victims of the age group 16 – 30 has increased substantially.
A police official indicated there is at least one known band of thieves which mark their victims outside of high schools.
Some victims have reported that they believe the robbers have
informants in the school or school areas casing the students who have
expensive items and then work in conjunction with assailants outside the
There have also been reports of robberies of individuals pretending to be street vendors.