MOUNTAIN BROOK, AL (WBRC) - Mountain Brook Police are investigating an armed robbery that took place on Jemison Walking Trail on Mountain Brook Parkway close to Overbrook Road at around 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Officers say the victims were four young girls. They say a black male approached the victims while they were walking on the trail and demanded their property while displaying his handgun.
Locals who use the trail frequently say they're shocked something like this could happen in broad daylight.
"I know a couple of them and I know their families and the girls are ok, it's just scary to think something like this could happen," said Laura Canterbury.
Canterbury says the victims are obviously shaken up.
"From what I was told, they gave purses and phones, whatever he asked for they handed over," said Canterbury.
She is one of many people who takes advantage of the Jemison trail.
"I come out a lot, I love it, I run a lot, this trail is so peaceful to me and it's kind of sad this time of year that somebody would take away some of that security that people have when they come out here to enjoy the great outdoors," said Canterbury.
Several joggers we say they were surprised to hear of the robbery. Most said they feel safe when pounding the pavement in the relatively quiet neighborhood.
"I haven't come across any issues, most of the time I'm running during the day I would say but every now and then towards dusk." Trevor Turner said.
"It shocks me, I used to come here every day in college and walk the trail and I felt safe, I never felt threatened and felt like I was never going to be in danger." Erin Eachus added.
The robbery is eye opening. And serves as a reminder to always be on guard, no matter where you are.
"It makes you think you need to be aware of your surroundings no matter where you go, just because you're in a safe neighborhood doesn't mean something bad can't happen," Eachus said.
Police described the suspect as a black male, between 20 and 25 years old, 5'10" with a slender build and long dreads in a ponytail, Officers say the suspect was wearing tan pants and a red heavy jacket with Alabama on the back.