Dallas police are stepping up patrols on the Katy Trail, after suspects robbed five people in the last five days.
The robberies happened at three locations – all with entrance and exit points along the popular running and cycling trail.
– Thursday, October 29th at 9:40 p.m., two suspects robbed a man at gunpoint on the Katy Trail near 2740 North Houston Street.
– Saturday, October 31 at 6:50 a.m. and 7:20 a.m., two suspects robbed two people at gunpoint in the area of 3200 Maple Street near Reverchon Park.
– Sunday, November 1, at 1:40 p.m. and 1:45 p.m., two suspects robbed two people at gunpoint on the Katy Trail near 3100 Routh Street.
Dallas police say the suspects were described as black men in their twenties, ranging in height from 5’7” to 6’ tall, weighing between 140lbs and 200lbs.
In each of the robberies, one or both of the suspects have been armed with a silver revolver or handgun and wearing gray, black or blue hoodies and jeans.
The victims told police the suspects have been standing on the trial and have blocked the paths of their victims and demanded property, generally taking cell phones, wallets and money.
Tyson Storm was walking on the Katy Trail Thursday evening, when he says one of the victims ran to him for help.
“He said one person had a gun and approached him from the front. One person had a gun and was behind him – he didn’t see that person too well. The person up front, he said, had a revolver,” said Storm.
He says it appeared the man was running at a face pace when the suspect stopped him near Trail Marker 103.
Storm and another person walked back up the trail, but couldn’t find the suspects. Given the circumstances of the crimes, he says it seems likely they could be related.
“There’s always a MO, right? It seems like if you get away with it enough, then you might try it again. It seems to me – living on the trail for years and years – whenever there’s regular patrols and cops, these things don’t happen,” said Storm.
As of yet, none of the robbery victims have been injured.
Major Max Geron with the Dallas Police Department says patrols will be increased.
“If you’re going along the trail, take note of the trail markers so that if something should happen, if you have to call 911, you can reference the marker so we can expeditiously get help to you,” said Maj. Geron.
Monday afternoon, officers on bicycle and in vehicles were moving up and down the trail.
Runners called it welcome sight.
“Not everybody’s armed out here. We’re here to walk,” said Mag Diel.
“I only bring my phone and my keys when I run,” said Ashlynn Mesidor. “I’ll just be more cautious. I’ll look around, but I don’t think I’ll stop running here.”
The Friends of the Katy Trail, the non-profit group that supports the trail, calls it the first string of crime on the trail in several years.
Methodist Dallas Medical Center is helping raise money for the Friends of the Katy Trail. For every person who signs up for the hospital’s health and fitness e-newsletter, Methodist will donate $5 to the Friends of the Katy Trail. Donations will support off-duty bike patrols.
Sign up here through November 13th at 5:00 p.m.
(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)