COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A man says he wants to alert the public on how to stay safe after he was the victim of an armed robbery on a popular bike trial in Columbus.
The victim did not want to go on camera for safety reasons, but we spoke with Columbus police Wednesday afternoon. Their advice is to watch your surroundings and never walk or run alone.
Walking or riding your bike on any part of the Fall Line Trace in Columbus is meant for enjoyment, but police warn to not let your guard down against potential dangers.
"I never ride alone. I always ride with at least one other person, Groups rides are just safer," said Molly McManus of The Bike Shop.
"Unfortunately a gentleman was robbed with his family, but his family was 50 yards ahead of him. They weren't actually together," said Sgt. Fred Carnes, CPD.
It was a Labor Day bike ride when the man says the suspect pointed a gun at him stealing a backpack, a 9 millimeter pistol, and his mountain bike. He and his family were not injured during the robbery.
It happened near Hilton Avenue and Willis Road. Columbus police advise people to ride or walk in groups.
"It would be harder, not impossible, but harder to rob two or three people as to opposed to one," said Sgt. Fred Carnes.
Bike police patrols also monitor the trails and the Riverwalk.
"Seven days a week and on the weekends we try to concentrate where the most people are," said Carnes.
Police say you need to keep an eye out for mile markers along the trail. So if you do need help, you can tell them where you are.
Police officials also say a phone app called Piper Beacon is also useful in times of trouble.
"When it is on operation, all the light poles on the Riverwalk will have a beacon that will monitor where you're at. If you are in distress, you can use the app to call 911 and it will pinpoint your location. The city is trying to get that on the Fall Line Trace," added Carnes.
McManus says she hopes Monday's incident was isolated.
"This is a beautiful trail. I would hate for people to not feel safe and utilize it. I rode the trail today with two other friends so we were fine," explained McManus.
Sgt. Carnes say the light poles at the Riverwalk are also marked with numbers so you can give police a description of where you are.
Instead of robberies, police say most of their calls at the Fall Line Trace are for assistance or cars that have been broken into.