2 teens arrested in connection with spate of Houston bike trail robberies

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(HOUSTON) — Two teenagers have been arrested in connection with a spate of robberies along a popular Houston bike trail, as police look for more suspects in the attacks, authorities said Tuesday.

Since May 16, five people have been robbed and assaulted and “held up at gunpoint” while riding along the Columbia Tap Bike Trail, according to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. In the most recent incident, which occurred on Memorial Day, a victim was shot in the leg, police said.

Police believe the incidents could have been committed by the same suspects, Turner said.

Two male juveniles, both 17, have since been charged with robbery and evading arrest, police announced Tuesday. A third suspect has been identified but not yet arrested, police said. It is unclear how many additional suspects are involved, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said.

“We’re laser-focused on getting everybody that’s involved in these crimes, and any other crime in our city — especially when it involves violence, especially when groups of individuals are terrorizing people,” Finner said during a press briefing on Tuesday. “We will not tolerate it.”

The Columbia Tap Bike Trail runs through Houston’s Third Ward neighborhood. Police presence along the trail has been increased amid the attacks, which primarily have been committed in the late evening, authorities said.

Finner urged people to “be vigilant” and to ride in groups as detectives continue to investigate the cases. He said people can expect to find teams of both uniformed and plainclothes officers on the trail.

“We want to make sure that cyclists, those who are walking on these trails, those who are riding on these trails, that they feel safe in doing so,” Turner told reporters Tuesday.

The city plans to continue to increase resources on the trail into the summer and is looking at adding more cameras to all trails, including the Columbia Tap Bike Trail, Turner said.

“By and large our trails are safe,” Turner said. “I don’t want two or three or four or five individuals who are just making bad decisions to stop the thousands of others from utilizing trails.”

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