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Staying Safe On the Trails

Woodstock Police have some tips for the public, after two people were approached on walking trails last week.

WOODSTOCK - Woodstock Police have tips for residents who like to go for walks in their spare time.

Constable Nikki VanLeeuwen says those who walk alone should be 100% aware of their surroundings.

"Some perpetrators will focus on the vulnerable. So if you're not paying attention and you are turned into your music and you don't know what is going on around you, you could set yourself up to become a victim of a type of crime."

These crimes can include theft or even assault. Some other tips include;

- Carrying a cellphone.
- Knowing the area you will be travelling.
- Telling someone where you will be going and the time you expect to return.
- Using the buddy system when possible.
- Avoid evening/night walks by yourself.
- Trusting your instincts.

Officers are offering these tips after two people were approached on walking trails in the Friendly City late last month.

On March 30th, a woman was walking in the area of Lansdown Ave and Springbank Ave, when she was approached by a man on a bicycle. The man circled around the woman, before grabbing her backside. The man was described as white, clean shaven with dark hair, dark eyes and a slender build. He is about 18 to 20 years old and was wearing a burgundy hoody and a blue hat with white stripes.

The next day, a 26 year old man was walking on a trail in Roth Park near Rivercrest when he was propositioned by another man. When the 26 year old walked away, the other man followed him. The man kept following him until the 26 year old called the police. This suspect was described as white, 5'10, average build, clean shaven with short brown hair and somewhere between 30 and 40 years old. He was wearing glasses, a red spring jacket with "BENCH" on the collar and blue jeans.

VanLeeuwen adds both of these incidents happened while the sun was still up.

"Typically at 5:30pm you still have some daylight and the trails are busy on nice days or the downtown is busy and usually these types of crimes don't happen when there is a lot of potential witnesses. So it can really happen anytime, day or night."

Police are still looking for the suspects in these isolated incidents. Anyone with information is asked to contact Woodstock Police or Crime Stoppers.

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