Sophie, a University of Sheffield medicine student, said: “It’s worrying that it’s happening late at night when its dark, the thought of walking home alone scares me.”
All the crimes have taken place in the Weston Park area of the city, with victims being held at knifepoint and made to hand over their belongings.
One commuter Michael, who lives at Crookes and works at the University of Sheffield, said: “I walk that way every day and to hear that is happening, its quite alarming. Perhaps I should consider walking another way home.”
They spoke to The Star after police told how they were stepping up patrols in the area, where there have been five reported knife-point robberies which officers believe to be linked.
Alison, a local dog walker, said after hearing it on the news that she is also concerned.
“I don’t know too much about it, but it’s really concerning for people around, especially students as there are a lot of young people walking towards ponderosa park and Crookes Valley Park every day,” she said.
Inspector Kevin Smith, of the Sheffield Northwest Neighbourhood Policing Team, has urged anyone walking in the area – particularly at night - to be aware of their surroundings and to keep to well-lit areas wherever possible.
“Thankfully, no-one has been injured during any of these incidents, but they have been frightening ordeals for the victims – they have all been threatened with a knife or other bladed weapon and forced to hand over their possessions,” he said.
South Yorkshire Police are still looking for the robbers, who are believed to be aged between 16 and 19, and have appealed for any witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.
The five offences reportedly took place between January 16 and 25.
Inspector Smith added: “We are taking all five instances extremely seriously and have increased the number of high visibility patrols in and around the area to help reassure people and to deter further offences.”
Anyone with information is asked to call South Yorkshire Police on 101.