NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - As police investigate two armed robberies that happened within minutes of each other Tuesday in the French Quarter, residents and workers in the Vieux Carre said more police patrols are needed.
"I try to watch my back, I always do that," said Jonathan Doucet.
He will likely take even more precaution given what happened overnight. Police said two women were walking in the 1100 block of Bourbon Street shortly after 1 a.m. when a man with a gun approached and grabbed their purses. Before he fled, two men who work in the area tried to intervene.
"One of my delivery guys saw it happen and he ran over to try to help the ladies," said Doucet, who works at a popular Quarter grocery.
The deliveryman, who we are not identifying, remains shaken by what he saw. He said that he and a cook saw what was happening, including one of the women being knocked down, so they ran across the street to help. But the robber pointed his gun at the two men and took off.
"I think it's horrible," Doucet said. "I don't think we have enough police, because I don't really see that many around, and I know the ones that are around are trying to do something, but it's just not enough of them."
He said he's not shocked anymore to hear about crimes in the French Quarter.
"I don't think that it's gotten any worse as of lately, I think it's always been bad," he said.
"The solution is I think we should have better patrols," said Chester Schwall, who has worked in that block for decades.
He said robbers hide out to prey on unsuspecting pedestrians once the sun goes down.
"You have a lot of people that walk around, tourists, and a lot of people think it's open game and that's the problem," Schwall said.
Moments before the Bourbon Street robbery, police said a man and a woman were robbed at gunpoint at Conti and Decatur streets.
"I walk all the time, but I am very careful of walking at night. You cannot walk in this city anymore, and that's the bad part," said Schwall.
Police said they don't believe the two robberies are related.
No suspects have been identified.