Police believe teens are behind weekend cabbie carjackings - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Police believe teens are behind weekend cabbie carjackings

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New Orleans, La - New Orleans police are investigating two more violent carjackings in the city.  For the second time in a matter of days, police have reason to believe teens are responsible -- and this time, the carjackers targeted taxi drivers.

It was a busy day Tuesday for cabbies lining up at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.  It's also the day they're learning that two of their own have been victims of crime.

"That always happens in New Orleans," shouted a veteran cab driver. 

Cab drivers aren't surprised to hear about the carjackings over the weekend.  "No matter what protection you have, when somebody wants to do something, there's nothing to do," explained another taxi driver.

One carjacking began with a 2:00 a.m. Saturday fare in the 600 block of South Salcedo.  The other happened after a 10:30 Sunday morning pick-up in the 200 block of South Olympia.

According to NOPD, a cab driver picked up two males in both cases.  Also in both cases, they say one of the males wrapped a cord around the driver's neck.  The duo demanded money and took off with the cabs. 

One victim told police the carjackers put a gun to his face.  The other felt an object pressed to his head.  At this point, police believe the crimes are related.  

Officers are looking for two teens.  One stands about 5-foot-8 and weighs 120 pounds.  The other is around 5-foot-10 and 120 pounds.  One of the victims told police the teens looked to be 14 or 15 years old.

This is the second time in a matter of days that teens are suspected of carrying out a carjacking. 

Two juveniles, 14 and 16 years old, were arrested last week after an Uptown carjacking on Marengo Street.  We met with the victim of that carjacking last week. 

"They crossed in front of the car, doubled back and tapped on my window with a weapon and carjacked me," explained the victim.

Experts call carjacking a crime of opportunity and while anyone can become a target, perhaps the most vulnerable are those who make a living inviting strangers into their vehicle.

"Protect ourself?  Only God," said one cab driver.  "Only God can protect you here."

Both cabs have since been recovered.  In one of the cases, the carjackers actually called for a cab because police records show the driver was dispatched to the pick-up location.  In the other case, the carjackers simply hailed a cab to carry out the crime.

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