NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans Police are investigating a string of car break-ins that happened in Lakeview overnight. At least a dozen neighbors were hit, and one of the homeowners captured the burglary on-camera.
We spoke with another victim who was up when his wife’s SUV was hit.
“I have a 100-pound dog, and she went crazy barking so that got them stirred up. It was enough to wake my wife up, and we both looked out the window to see a mid-sized SUV pull off - like a dark gray, mid-sized SUV,” said Chris Emig.
But the damage was already done to his wife’s car window, which was busted in. And they weren’t alone.
“The guy throwing papers said he saw someone possibly being pulled over on 30th, so I got in my car to see if I could identify the vehicle and maybe help out. I went on Bellaire, took a left, and on Bellaire I saw somebody’s bag and possessions in the middle of the street. I went up about another block and another car was busted in, their possessions were in the street,” said Emig.
Brian Anderson, president of Lakeview Crime Prevention District, said they’ve increased NOPD patrols in the area, but it hasn’t helped.
“I think the story at this point needs to move away from do we have enough officers and are they doing their job. I think the story needs to move to what can we do to keep them from going into a life of crime, and what kind of punishment can we give them after they’re caught?” said Anderson.
New Orleans Police said between 12 and 14 cars were burglarized. Investigators believe the crimes were committed by repeat juvenile offenders and that those perpetrators are connected to identical crimes in multiple districts throughout the city in recent days.
“It’s scary. You think you’re safe in a little tucked away part of the neighborhood, and it could happen to anybody,” said Emig.
According to online NOPD statistics, car burglaries are up more than 300% in the Third District. There have been 155 so far this year compared to 35 at this time last year.