St. Pete police assign mounted patrols to Pinellas Trail

St. Petersburg, Florida – You will find no shortage of people running, riding bikes and walking on the Pinellas Trail between 43rd and 49th Streets South, but some are very cautious about their surroundings.

"I've felt a little unsafe but I usually ride in a group," said Jeri Clark who did not violate her rule on Thursday by riding her bike with a friend.

There were nine robberies along the trial in St. Petersburg in 2013 and 10 so far this year.

The most serious incident occurred in February when a couple was attacked, beaten and robbed of their bikes in the Child's Park area of the trial.

St. Petersburg police say most incidents involve transients robbing transients and kids stealing bikes from other kids, but they are now working to keep crimes from escalating in the area.

They have unveiled police officers mounted on horses that will patrol the area to keep it safe from criminal activity.

"That's why we're doing this … is to try to prevent that element from taking over the trail," said Mitch Detty of the St. Petetersburg Police Department.

The additional security is a welcome sight for those at the Child's Park YMCA, located next to the trail where that couple was attacked earlier this year.

"We have exercise classes here, they often use the trail and just that they're know that they're taking that extra step," said Deborah Figgs-Sanders, YMCA Executive Director.

Police say that the times of the mount patrols will vary and will work in conjunction with bike and Segway patrol that are already done in the area.


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