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I read some news about my friend being robbed on a local newspaper.

The newspaper was published a few weeks ago, but I read it two days ago.

I wanted to send my late regards to her, but I thought she would ask me how I knew it. I was thinking to write this:

"I saw you getting robbed on newspaper by chance"

But I don't want to use the phrase, by chance, because I think "by chance" relates to gambling and betting.

Thank you.

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    by chance doesn't necessarily refer to gambling. It can refer to any unplanned or random occurrence. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 9 '17 at 11:43
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You could subtly say:

  • "I heard that you were robbed."
  • "I came to know that you were robbed."
  • "I read that you were robbed."
  • "I came across the news that you were robbed."
  • "I was informed that you had been robbed."

To make it a little more subtle, and to show that you care, you could append something to make it seem more personal like "..are you okay?" to it.

If you want to stress on the 'chance' part even then, maybe you should you try 'incidentally'

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I happened to see|read in the newspaper that you were robbed.

HAPPEN + to + {verb} presents something as an unpremeditated act or chance event, or as a coincidental fact.

I happened to meet him on the train platform.

She happens to know your cousin.

Some examples with the verb see.

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