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Robbers continue to prey on early-morning joggers - Crooks drive fear into fitness buffs in dramatic Barbican chase

Published:Wednesday | July 17, 2019 | 12:27 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer

Members of a St Andrew-based fitness club had their early-morning routine brought to a dramatic halt yesterday as robbers pounced on the group, chasing them along the route in a frightful encounter.

Allistair Thomas, who was among the group of four men and three women of 876 Crossfit, said they were on their regular jogging route along Salisbury Avenue and heading towards Barbican Road about 5:45 a.m. when the thieves struck.

He said the runners noticed a heavily tinted white Probox car speeding towards them. As the car swerved, a runner had to jump from the road to avoid being hit.

Thomas said two men then alighted from the car and began chasing them on foot along the road.

“They were running after us initially, but when they realised that they weren’t gonna be able to catch us, they turned around, went back to the car and they started to come up the road, chasing us in the car. By this time, we reached the intersection of Barbican and Salisbury. We realised that they were still coming, so we resolved to jump one of the fences,” he told The Gleaner.

He said that after they jumped a second fence, the men appeared to have lost interest.

An alarm went off when they got on the second property. The owners came out, questioned them, and then contacted their security company.

Thomas said that in speaking with members of other running clubs, he learnt that other incidents also took place yesterday morning. Thieves were able to take a gadget from a runner in the Barbican Beach area.

Thomas said it was the first attack on members of his club, but expressed concern that reports of such incidents seem to be on the increase.

“We are scared, as you can imagine now. I don’t think any of our members will be running on the road anytime soon. Some people have cameras and when they check them, there are multiple occurrences of suspicious-looking people just lurking around in the morning,” he said, adding that increased police patrols and private security escorts could boost safety.

The incident was reported to the Matilda’s Corner Police Station by one of the runners.

Corporal Millwall Batten said that the person who made the report had been injured during the chase.

He said similar reports are made frequently to the St Andrew Central Police Division and urged members of the public to run in groups and avoid taking gadgets with them, as these could attract unwanted attention.