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Police increase presence after five attacks on American Tobacco Trail

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TWC News: Police increase presence after five attacks on American Tobacco Trail
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DURHAM — Residents in Durham are taking caution after another jogger was attacked on the American Tobacco Trail on Monday.

According to Durham police, there have been five attacks reported on the trail since May. The most recent happened Monday night when they say a teenager attacked a 40-year-old man near Enterprise and Fargo streets in Durham.

James Hall has been walking the trail for 20 years, yet despite recent attacks Hall said he is still going out.

"Overall I think it's a safe trail because there are so many people out here who know each other, who look out for each other, and tell you when they see something suspicious," said Hall.

Nonetheless, the string of attacks has city officials going the extra mile to keep people safe.

"As a precaution, we have stepped up the number of bike patrols and undercover patrols along the trail to keep an eye on what's going on out there," said Durham City Manager Tom Bonfield.

Jogger Jeffrey Cole said more police means more safety.

"I think it would be a good idea to have some presence out here as a deterrent so people would think twice if they're thinking about something criminal," said Cole.

According to police, there is common theme among the attackers; many of them being teenagers. Authorities say if people are going to exercise outdoors, they should carry a cell phone, stay aware at all times, and avoid walking alone after dark.

Police want anyone to call 911 upon seeing or hearing anything suspicious anywhere near the trail.

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