POLICE are appealing for information after booby traps made from wine bottle corks and nails were found in bushland at Lake Macquarie.
Paul Roberts, of Booragul, said he was running through the Marmong Point bushland on Monday morning when he saw a pile of leaves in the middle of the usually clear path.
"I brushed it with my shoe and saw the corks with the nails in there," he said.
"I moved them off the path, next to a tree. I kept going and then I saw another pile. Then I thought, this is a bit much here. Obviously someone has gone to town with this. It seemed to have been a quite intentional attempt to cause harm.
"I went back to grab my phone to take some photos, to let people know what was going on, and on the way back I found a third pile, which I had just run past.
"I reckon it would have hurt if I'd have stepped on it."
Mr Roberts, who has since reported his find to the police, said the stretch of trail was usually fairly quiet.
"I might go there sometimes three times a week, other times not for a few months," he said.
"I don't often see people there. It's a fairly quiet bit of bush.
"I might see the occasional rider and the occasional bushwalker and the occasional runner. There are sometimes trail bikes, and from what I'm aware, they probably shouldn't be there. It is a bushwalking track along the water's edge.
"But this does seem to be fairly calculated and malicious.
"It was pretty obviously set up to cause harm."
Mr Roberts said he had noticed people camping in that part of the bush recently.
"There is a bit of a camping area there. There was a few 4WDs and tents set up there about a week or so ago," he said.
"Whether someone has an issue with that, or the trail bike riders, I don't know.
"But it could have potentially hurt anyone walking, or running, or mountain biking through there."
Officers from Lake Macquarie Police District attended Alexanders Trail in Lake Macquarie State Conservation Park - between Marmong Point and Bolton Point - on Monday.
They have begun an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the devices, which they said resembled historic weapons known as "caltrops".
Police are urging anyone who may have information or noticed suspicious activity in the area to contact Toronto Police Station on (02) 4088 1099 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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