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Cyclist hit by car, then robbed in Central Gardens

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Four men robbed a cyclist at gunpoint in Central Gardens after using their car to knock him off his bike, police said.

The victim, who didn't want to be identified, said he was riding his bike home from work Friday night around 11 p.m. on Willett Street near Vinton Avenue.

He said he remembers seeing headlights approaching him from behind before being knocked to the ground.

"They hit me pretty hard from behind and the bike flew out from under me, I landed on my back," he said.

The cyclist scarcely had time to stumble to his feet before he said four teens were out of the car, a silver Hyundai Elantra which police believe was carjacked earlier that night at a community center on Tanglewood.

"Pulled a gun at me and started hitting me and asking me for my money and stuff like that," he said.

"It was a lowdown tactic, but that's what they did."

Hours earlier around 3 p.m., another man told police he was robbed by two men while walking on Linden Avenue near Willett.

One put a gun to his head and the suspects began beating him when he didn't know how to reset his phone.

He said the suspects were 18 to 25 years old, while the cyclist said all four suspects who robbed him looked 18 or younger.

"It's very disturbing," said Eddie Hutchinson, president of the Central Gardens Association.

Hutchinson said that long before the recent robberies, neighbors had been discussing ways to beef up security including adding more patrols from a private security company which individual homeowners sign up and pay for.

"Currently we have one patrol and we're very close -- I think we're about 20 subscribers away from having a second, part-time patrol," Hutchinson said.

He also suggested homeowners add cameras and better lighting if they haven't already.

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