By HEATHER RAWLYK, Staff Writer for The Capital
And a string of bad things have been happening along the trail in the past two months, county police said.
Since June 20, there have been seven robberies - four involving weapons - on the B&A Trail.
Lt. Waltemeyer and Ms. Peret said these broad-daylight incidents are rare and that most crimes along the trail system occur at night, when the paths are closed to visitors.
"Officially, our parks are closed at dusk - they're not meant to be a public space after that time so our rangers are off-duty," Ms. Peret said.
Three of the seven recent incidents happened after 8 p.m.
County police encourage visitors to use the trails during daylight hours and to travel with others whenever possible. Lt. Waltemeyer said to watch out for certain ploys, such as a person asking for a dollar, cigarette, or to use a cell phone.
He has also seen other schemes, such as a person acting injured.
"I've seen it where a male is laying on the side of the trail, saying he's hurt, and asks a woman if she'd come into the woods and help him," he said. "We certainly would want them to get help by calling 911, but I'd discourage them from going off the trail."
These sort of precautions may prevent certain incidents, but do not guarantee safety, county officials said.
"The victims from Sunday's (July 30) incident could have done all these things and they would still have experienced the same frightening scenario," officials said in the written statement. "That type of ambush attack is completely in the control of the criminal who can wait for just the right victims at just the right place and time.