NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A Lakeview resident was sitting on his sofa, watching TV in his home in the 100 block of Conrad Street Saturday afternoon (Oct. 21), when he heard a crash.
“I run to the front door to look outside and I see my neighbor’s tool boxes all in the road,” the man -- who asked to remain anonymous -- said.
He figure the unsecured equipment fell off the tailgate when the carpenter working on his neighbor’s house drove away, but his theory was disproved when the carpenter himself came to the door.
“The carpenter was the guy who answered the door so, we kind of looked at each other in disbelief like, ‘why is he asking about my truck?’ Then, his first response was, ‘hey, where’s my truck,’” the man said.
The neighbor, Kevin Stevens, said the carpenter was replacing floor boards in their living room and had been in and out of the house, sawing wood.
Stevens and his wife, Candy, were upstairs when the commotion began.
“We heard him say somebody stole my truck and we’re like, ‘you’re kidding,’” Kevin Stevens said.
Luckily, their neighbor has a motion-activated dash cam that caught the whole thing.
“We saw a black Ford truck pull up and before it got to his vehicle, they stopped," he said, describing the video, which shows a driver and two other people. “The other two started lifting handles on everyone. One snuck around the back of the carpenter’s truck and he must’ve jumped in from the passenger’s side."
It turns out the keys were inside the truck. But there's one part of the video neighbors find especially disconcerting.
“As one comes around the Ford, you can clearly see he has a gun in his hand,” the anonymous neighbor said.
“I was angry," Candy Stevens said. “I saw the gun.”
The man who’s camera caught the theft worried what could have happened if he, or someone else, had been outside when it happened.
“That could’ve been me who walked out and been confronted with a man with a handgun," he said. “I thought about the carpenter, him going back-and-forth, in and out of the house. What if he would’ve walked out to go cut another plank and the guy standing there with the gun? He’s defenseless at that point.”
Neighbors don't want to think about what could have happened or what the men did after they left the scene.
“You hear the other stories. People kept stopping, people driving down the street kept stopping,” Candy Stevens said.
They shared bits and pieces of information from the neighborhood, like instances of other robberies with suspects matching the same description.
“I always thought Lakeview was safe, quiet,” Kevin Stevens said.
Yet, these residents aren't deterred.
“Any neighborhood, you have to be proactive. You have to lock your doors. You have to take your valuables out. Security cameras help,” the neighbor said.
“We’re just really careful about locking our doors, using our alarms. Our neighbors have cameras, really good cameras and we’re thinking about getting cameras. But this is my home,” Candy Stevens said.
Fox 8 spoke with NOPD officers who confirmed the truck was stolen but offered no further details.
Lakeview residents who saw the video say they are still blown away by these brazen thieves.
“I couldn’t believe it was happening,” said one Lakeview resident.
"It was amazing," said another. "Noon or 12:30, right in broad daylight."
“I just thought it was bold,” said one resident.