2 robberies in 4 days have Carrollton residents concerned

Ed Serpas counts on foot traffic to keep his Oak Street barber shop busy.

"Right down the street, you got the Maple Leaf, you got Jacques-Imo's, you've got tourists and locals that are going places like that and there's just a lot of people out," he says.

But Serpas sometimes worries about who is walking around his neighborhood.

New Orleans police are investigating two armed robberies in the Carrollton/Riverbend area in the past four days. The first happened Sunday at around 11:45 p.m. at Carrollton and Freret. Investigators say a woman was at her mailbox when a man approached her with a gun.

"Cell phones and even took her mail from what I understand," says Serpas.

A few days and one block away, police say a gunman held up a cyclist at the corner of Carrollton and Burthe. Detectives say the victim had stopped to check her cell phone Wednesday night just before midnight when a man came up behind her and demanded her belongings.

Karen Emerson knows it's easy to get distracted by a cell phone.

"I'm guilty of doing that, but I try to at night always have my key in my hand, and the minute I get into my car, I lock my doors," she says.

Emerson says she also keeps the doors locked at her home nearby. She says the two armed robberies have her concerned.

"It doesn't make me feel easy," says Emerson. "But at the same time, I don't always walk around with fear, but I just am aware of my surroundings constantly, for sure.

Police are releasing few details about the crimes, but president of the Carrollton-Riverbend Neighborhood Association Barry Brantley says he'll put whatever information he can learn on the organization's web and Facebook pages.

Epaul Julien thinks extra police patrols would help.

"Why not have more security presence, cops on bikes, cops walking around?" he says. "I think that's pretty common, you see that other cities and it just kind of makes people think twice."

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