NOPD increasing officer visibility on Lafitte Greenway

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NEW ORLEANS -- NOPD is investigating a mugging on the Lafitte Greenway in Mid-City.

For people who use the path for exercise or to get around town, hearing about trouble on the trail is very concerning.

"I hate to even hear about that kind of stuff, you know because when I get out here and run, I feel safe," Kelan Barton said. "But, when I hear about something like that, it makes me a little bit hardened and I'm like woah, do I need to look over my shoulder?"

"You tell me that someone got mugged, it kind of threw me off a little because I ride this strip regularly," Cardell Wright said. "I work for Gerhold Electric. I ride my bike back and forth this way."

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According to the NOPD, a woman was riding her bike on the trail near St. Louis and Galvez around 9 p.m., Monday night when a young man approached her, pulled out a gun and demanded her bike. 

"Requested her belongings, took her bike and he fled," NOPD First District Commander Hans Ganthier said. "We later found the bicycle and we have some active leads we're working."

Ganthier says the mugging was only the second robbery on the greenway this year.

But, this week police are expect to roll out a plan to make officers more visible on the trail.

"Bike patrols, we have talked to mounted and we plan on diverting some of our overtime to that area, so they are very visible and can be seen," Ganthier said.

The commander said the strategy was in the works before the recent armed robbery.

The Greenway recently came under the authority of the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission.

NORDC has reportedly hired private security guards to help patrol the two-mile stretch of public land from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

This fall, the commission will also hold public meetings to develop an enhanced security plan which would include crime cameras along the trail.

In the meantime, one runner says they can all play a role in keeping the Greenway safe.

"All of us, everyone of us, keeping our eyes out and watching what's going on and pay our active role in what's going on," Barton said.

As for Monday's mugging, police say they could soon have a suspect in custody.