Dallas police up patrols after armed attacks on Katy Trail

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by CYNTHIA VEGA

WFAA

Posted on May 14, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Updated Monday, May 14 at 1:53 PM

DALLAS - Dallas police have stepped up police patrols along the Katy Trail after three armed robberies over the weekend.

The increase in security includes added bike patrols and members of their Violent Crime Task Force.

Early Monday morning, News 8 witnessed multiple cruisers in the area, with one Dallas police cruiser driving the entire length of the trail.

Runner Christine Shirer said she was unaware of the recent crime. She said she always felt safe running the trail during the day, although she said she is always quick to leave it if she doesn't see others around. Monday, surrounded by walkers and runners, Shirer told News 8 she suddenly didn't feel as safe.

Scott Smitherman, also a regular on the trail, said he feels safer seeing extra Dallas police on bikes patrolling the length of the trail. His friend, Mark Manley said they did think twice before coming out to the trail, but are being extra cautious with an eye on their surroundings.

Dallas police have made no arrests. They said they are now investigating to see if the three attacks are related. In every attack, the victims told News 8 that two men dressed in black and armed with a gun attacked them.

The attacks happened between 11:40 p.m. Saturday and 6:30 a.m. Sunday.

One victim was a 28-year-old woman who was walking home from the Ice House Restaurant, which backs right up to the trail. She told News 8 the two men approached her, pushing her to the ground and pointing a gun at her loved ones. Her purse and cell phone were taken.

A 34-year-old runner was targeted Sunday morning while passing the Blackburn Street overpass. He said one of two men that were smoking along the trail put a gun to his head, running along his side. The other man told him to get down when they stole his iPhone and $5.

None of the victims were seriously injured, but all said they were very shook up.

Most out on the trail Monday said they believe Dallas police are doing their part. They said trail users must use common sense to protect themselves, like keeping an eye on their surroundings at all times and never going out on the trail at night, especially alone.

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