Police increase patrols after White River State Park robberies

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Police have increased patrols after a pair of reported robberies recently at White River State Park.

"I just heard that today," said one walker.

Police are patrolling in cars and on foot after the two hold-ups in two weeks during two different times of day at White River State Park.

"The only one I'm concerned about was the one in the afternoon," says Matthew Hufford, who was walking along the downtown canal near White River State Park Monday evening.

In one case, it was after 9 p.m. and the victim was sitting on a rock along the path when another approached him and stuck something in his back that he thought was a gun. He handed over his cash.

In the second case a week later, it was the middle of the afternoon. Two men stopped a walker, told him they wanted a donation - they really wanted his money.

The separate gunman hit their victims with a pipe and a stick, but there were no serious injuries.

"If I remember, it was actually quite violent. Somebody got hit with a board," said Hufford.

One victim attends IUPUI, so university police stepped up.

"I'm a medical student and they sent out an IUPUI alert," said jogger Brandon Hood.

But has it gotten him to consider his surroundings more carefully?

"I thought about it. Honestly, it did not change my behavior. I don't run with an iPod in my ear, I am more alert, but it's not keeping me off the trail, as you can see," Hood said.

"I've never been scared out here. I worked over here for nine years," said Melissa Grube. "I am bigger, so I think that people don't pick on me as much."

Grube was out for a walk with her dog, Jackie. She was walking on the limestone trail on the north side of the Indianapolis Zoo, which is where on of the attacks happened. She says walking with confidence helps, but "they could get anybody, really, if they have a weapon and things."

Sharon Kincaid, walking home from work, says "they tell you to travel in groups anyway, right?They tell you have a friend or buddy you still need to do that."

A group visiting from Canada said they like Indianapolis.

"We just walked the whole park, but I wouldn't do it myself if I knew what was going on," one of the guests said.