Police chief tries to calm Uptown residents after rash of crime - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Police chief tries to calm Uptown residents after rash of crime

NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas met Friday with a community very anxious about recent armed robberies.

People who live in NOPD's 6th District in Uptown New Orleans have been on edge, especially in the wake of a violent carjacking on Camp Street that left a resident shot and in critical condition.

"I'm impressed. It's very comforting to know that the chief is interested in this neighborhood and is coming down," said Uptown resident Edgar Smith.

Smith says he's no stranger to crime in his own neighborhood.  "I've had my cars broken into three or four times. That's 200 and something dollars a pop," said Smith.  And he says he's also had a car stolen and his home broken into twice.

"I know he's got a very tough job and anything that he can do... I think being visible and talking to people and making the rounds is important," said Smith.

Serpas, 6th District Commander Bob Bardy and several NOPD officers canvassed the area hit by recent armed robberies.  Serpas says the goal is to reassure neighbors they are making headway in the string of crimes.

"We'll be telling people we're on this, we get this. The public should know that this is important to us, no matter where it happens in the city of New Orleans," said Serpas.  "It just happened to be up here the last couple of weeks, but wherever these kinds of things happen in New Orleans, we're going to be there," said Serpas.

"To see all the police out there does give you a good feeling, you know," said a neighbor who just moved to Uptown New Orleans from Oregon.

"The police presence is fabulous.  It's really nice when you have them here," said Natalie Chosa, who owns a salon on Magazine Street.

Police have arrested two teens in connection with two robberies but a third teenager, believed to be the gunman in the shooting in the 3400 block of Camp St., is still on the loose.  Police say the trio is responsible for an armed robbery on 1st Street and a carjacking on Marengo Street Tuesday night.  A fourth armed robbery happened on Antonine Street in the same 24-hour period.

"The Police Department right now is doing incredibly well on these investigations. I'm limited in what I can say, but I want to let the people of New Orleans know we are making great headway, linking a lot of evidence leading us in a lot of directions, and I think we are going to be positive in the very near future," said Serpas.

The man shot on Camp Street is now listed in stable condition at an area hospital.

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