Friday, June 22, 2018
Public safety

Police search for teens who robbed Pinellas Trail cyclists Saturday

Two cyclists and a pedestrian were robbed at gunpoint Saturday on a St. Petersburg section of the Pinellas Trail, police said.

The first attack happened about 3 p.m. Saturday near 43rd Street S. A 54-year-old man and a 50-year-old woman were knocked off their bicycles by two teens. One boy hit the woman in the face with a gun, knocking out several teeth and cutting her lip, St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz said.

The boys rode off on the bikes. The woman was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, where she was treated for serious injuries.

About six hours later, a 32-year-old woman who was walking on the trail near 28th Street S was also approached by two teens. One grabbed her purse and the other pointed a handgun at her before the pair ran off.

Police said they believe the same boys were responsible for both robberies. A spokesman said they have solid leads but haven't found the robbers.

They were able to track the first couple's bikes to a home using the man's stolen cellphone, which was hidden in a backpack pocket.

Puetz said police advise cyclists to travel in groups and avoid poorly lit areas or suspicious people.

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