Teen arrested for Uptown armed robberies wearing ankle monitor - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Teen arrested for Uptown armed robberies wearing ankle monitoring device

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New Orleans, La. -

The Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office is taking a hard look at its ankle monitoring device program after a teen wearing a device was arrested for two armed robberies Tuesday night.

Four robberies in all took place Uptown in a short span of time.  A 14-year-old and a 16-year-old are behind bars, charged with two of the crimes.  Police say they're responsible for an armed robbery in the 1600 block of 1st Street at around 10:20 Tuesday night, and the carjacking of a Toyota from the 2200 block of Marengo.  Police found the two allegedly driving around in the stolen car from Marengo.

Investigators still trying to determine if they're also connected to a carjacking in the 3400 block of Camp Street, in which a man was shot twice in the chest, and a fourth armed robbery on Antonine Street.

NOPD 6th District Commander Bob Bardy explains, "One was apprehended immediately. Two went into the block… saturation by a lot of good police work, being in the area, we were able to put a perimeter up, to where we were able to bring a K-9 unit out and locate the second subject."

Police believe a third robber is the gunman in the Camp Street attack, and they're still looking for him.

Commander Bardy says one of the teens arrested was wearing an ankle monitoring device when he was picked up.

Uptown resident Venus Masakowski says, "It doesn't seem like the ankle monitoring is working if they can go out and commit crimes, carjackings.  I mean, what is the ankle monitoring doing?."

That's exactly what the City Council's Criminal Justice Committee wants to know, too. Committee members say they will launch an investigation to see just how effective the program is.

In a statement, Sheriff Marlin Gusman says, "A preliminary investigation by the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office has determined that OmniLink's monitoring equipment ceased to communicate with the central monitoring office, which resulted in the sheriff's office viewing old data."

Whatever the reason, the teen was able to be hit the streets and, according to police, commit these crimes.

The victim of the Marengo carjacking recounts her terrifying ordeal, saying, "My son was sitting here on the steps and as he tried to approach the car, the guy held the gun and was aiming at me as if he was about to shoot. And he asked, don't shoot, don't shoot, don't shoot my mom. And he stopped."

That woman considers herself lucky to be alive.

The teen wearing the ankle monitor was originally charged with possession of marijuana, and that's why he was wearing the device. Sheriff Gusman says he will take a closer look at both the equipment involved and the personnel who were supposed to be monitoring the teen's movements.

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