BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A woman running around Hoyt Lake in Delaware Park on Thursday was approached by two men and robbed at gunpoint.
With the weather finally starting to warm up, many people like Melissa Dube are taking advantage and getting outside to go for a run. Hoyt Lake in Delaware Park, right next to the Buffalo History Museum, is a popular place to go for a jog.
“This place is really popular. Today it’s a little slow. There’s still snow on the ground, but there are hundreds of people here on the weekends,” Dube said.
Charles Adams added, “We come here all the time to eat our lunch. We walk around the lake. It’s nice. We see people here all the time.”
Police say Thursday afternoon, a woman running in this well-traveled area was robbed by two armed men who demanded her cell phone.
“I’m shocked by that. I’m shocked. I always feel safe around here,” Dube said.
Police say as a result, they’re increasing patrols around Hoyt Lake, and stress that incidents like this in that area are rare.
“It appears to be an isolated incident. It is virtually a crime-free area. But it did happen. We are investigating. And hopefully we’ll come up with some information soon,” said Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda.
Mark Lester added, “I think it’s pretty safe here. It’s nice. A little crime is not going stop me.”
But some others who use the park were pretty concerned with news of the robbery.
“Well that’s why I kind of stay close to where people are. Especially when I have a toddler with me,” Anita Riforgiato said.
The incident comes just as some lawmakers are pushing a law to require phone manufacturers to include a “kill-switch” that would render a stolen phone useless.
“For them to not be able to activate that phone again would be a big hindrance,” Adams said.
“If you could kill the phone, and if the criminal knew it, it would be kind of useless to steal it. Because within a short period of time, it would be disabled and useless. So it probably would help,” Commissioner Derenda added.
Police remind everyone that it is always safer to jog with a friend.
The suspects are described as two thin black men, about 5’11″. One was wearing a black hoodie with dark gray sweats. Anyone with information should call or text the confidential tipline at 847-2255.