Criminals use tactics to evade crime cameras

Still from video of Discount Corner robbery (Source: NOPD)
Still from video of Discount Corner robbery (Source: NOPD)

The moment the gunman walked in - a mask was already covering his face.

In video shown first on FOX 8, police say a masked gunman committed his sixth armed robbery in five weeks on Friday.

The cashier screams, "I'm a go open it! Bro, bro! I'm a go open it bro!" as the robber dives head first with gun drawn over the counter before grabbing cash from the register.

That gunman is hardly the only one changing tactics.

Bryan Lagarde of ProjectNOLA said criminals across the city hide from the growing number of cameras and interconnected video systems.

"We're starting to see a little more of people taking their shirts, their T-shirts, and pulling them up over their face," said Lagarde.

He's seen video of other strategies.

"Lately in the Marigny what we're seeing a couple of times recently - middle of the night, beautiful night, stars everywhere - and we're seeing some people walk around with umbrellas very tightly over their faces," said Lagarde. "At some point, they're going to feel comfortable to take that umbrella down and bingo - now we have you."

That extra outside video is what Second District Commander Paul Noel said they've been missing from the case of the masked gunman. It may be why the man has committed six armed robberies without getting caught - yet.

"Our team is solving about one out of every two armed robberies, which is well above the national average, and all of our detectives are working on these cases now," Noel said. "Sooner or later we're going to develop a break."

The general manager of Discount Corner store on the 4100 block of S. Claiborne Avenue said he hopes that break in the case comes before the gunman comes back. Ahmad Dorry said his store hadn't been targeted in 14 years. This month it was robbed twice.

Now, he said he's considering whether the store needs more than cameras to keep his employees and customers safe.

"Robbery right now, here they're happening more, more, more. We're thinking after two, three months, we'll have all the cashiers - they have to stay with gun," said Dorry.

Anything, he said, to keep criminals out of his business.

Police say registering a private camera with SafeCam NOLA can also help investigators solve crimes. It helps detectives build a database of cameras they can turn to.

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