Three men have been arrested on suspicion of robbing two young Orthodox men in Gateshead on Saturday afternoon.
The two 19-year-old youths were approached by a group of men and attacked by two of them, who made off with items of clothing, according to Northumbria Police.
Police said that the incident had nothing to do with an English Defence League Demonstration in Newcastle and were trying to establish the circumstances.
They said that the two victims suffered minor injuries and were left shaken.
Extra officers are on patrol in the area to reassure the community.