Durham, N.C. — Durham police are investigating after a man reported being robbed at gunpoint on the American Tobacco Trail Friday afternoon.
The victim told police that he was on the trail near Otis Street around 1:20 p.m. when an armed man stole his cellphone and MP3 player.
The suspect was described as a black man in his late teens to early 20s, standing about 6 feet tall with a flat-top haircut. He was wearing a gray shirt and shorts.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200. Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.
Police have increased patrols and vowed to improve safety on the trail after numerous reports of robberies and assaults in 2012. Volunteers with the Trail Watch Program also keep an eye on the 7-mile stretch through Durham, reporting any suspicious activity to police and offering advice to the runners, walkers and bikers who use the trail.
"Have a cellphone. Keep an ear out. Keep an eye open," said Trail Watch volunteer Michael Williams. "Make eye contact with people when you see them on the trail. Make sure that somebody knows where you are."
Joanne Andrews said these crimes unfairly give the trail a bad name.
"It's a drag. It's not a deterrent," she said. "We're going to do the things we need to do to keep us safe and keep going."