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St. Pete Police step up enforcement on Coffee Pot Blvd NE after jogger nearly kidnapped at gunpoint

Protecting yourself while jogging
Posted at 5:45 PM, Feb 08, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — St. Pete Police say they've got a lot of eyes on Coffee Pot Boulevard NE after a 23-year-old woman was almost kidnapped at gunpoint while jogging Wednesday morning.

"It's definitely something to be scared or nervous about," said Mason Cathey. 

Mason Cathey doesn't run with pepper spray or other weapons. She's got 'Zoe.'

"I think the police have got to be around in this area a little bit more. We take it for granted that it's a super nice neighborhood and a little bit more affluent," said Cathey. 

She got quick word about the attempted kidnapping at gunpoint that happened on her run route Wednesday at 6 a.m., Coffee Pot Boulevard NE in St. Pete, through her network.

RELATED: Police search for man who tried to kidnap runner at gunpoint in St. Petersburg

Even with 'Zoe,' she's making changes running in the afternoon instead of the mornings. 

"Keeping your privacy on Strava which is a common app that shows your running route, or even on Garmin and it shows where your home is and so you know, change your privacy settings," she said.

St. Pete Police Sergeant Mitch Detty is a runner too. He advises you to keep an eye behind you and look people firmly in the eye as you pass them. 

"It actually notifies people that you're aware that they're there. You can describe them, that you've seen them and bad guys typically don't like that. They want to be secretive, hidden," said Sgt. Detty.

"Keep it in the same place every time so that it's almost muscle memory," he said. 

The suspect on Wednesday pointed a gun at the jogger and told her to get in. Luckily, she didn't and ran to safety to call 911. 

St. Pete Police say the suspect was driving a burnt orange crossover.