CrimeTracker: New Orleans burglary trends - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

CrimeTracker: New Orleans burglary trends

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

“The first time was like about three months ago,” Fatma Aydin said.

Aydin said she became a victim not once, not twice, but three times this year.

“So, he came down the steps and I had a huge garbage can. He used the garbage can to fill with all my goods including during the hurricane, I bought these two generators. He took the generators. They were on wheels so he just loaded everything in the garbage cans and walked out,” she said.

That was the first incident, and then it happened again and again. In all, she believes the thieves stole about $12,000 worth of goods from her St. Claude Avenue restaurant.

“A small restaurant like that - $12,000 in three months is a lot of money,” Aydin said.

Aydin isn’t alone.

In fact, on the same block as her business, thieves have broken into four other businesses this year.

“A person that does that can do anything. If they have that mind that they are going to get something, they are going to get it,” Aydin said.

In this special CrimeTracker Investigation, FOX 8 compiled 18 months of burglary data from the city of New Orleans. Analyzing the incident report numbers, dates and locations for all burglaries in 2014 and the first six months of this year, we get a better idea of where they’re happening and how often.

One quick glance at our map and you can see the sheer number of incidents. Over the 18 months, victims reported 8,960 burglaries.

The most happened in the Eighth District which includes the French Quarter and Marigny where Aydin’s restaurant is located.

Surveillance pictures show what happened at Melvin’s Bar, also on St. Claude Avenue, when two men broke in and stole more than $10,000 in cash from the safe.

“When they’re coming in, and doing it armed, and carrying weapons around, it’s scary,” Peter Burk said.

Chilling surveillance video shows car burglaries on Bancroft Drive in Lakeview.

“It’s scary to see where this thing could spin up to. I know myself and other neighbors, especially the ones that were broken into. The level of anger is starting to increase,” Dan Huben said.

Lakeview is in the Third District, where police investigated 1,193 burglaries. Nearly half of those incidents are car break-ins. Police say most car break-ins are crimes of opportunity, where car doors are simply left unlocked.

In the Seventh District, residential burglaries in New Orleans East topped the list with 790.

“One of our lawn chairs was stolen right outside our patio. Our cable lines were cut, along with maybe two other units, and there’s vandalism,” Vincent Martinez said.

In a recent high-profile home burglary in New Orleans East, police say one homeowner fought back.

“I was sleeping in my bed, and I heard two shots went off and what happened, I got up and this young man was laying on the ground,” Pernell Williams said.

Investigators said the homeowner chased three suspects into the backyard, and then opened fire when he thought one of the men reached for a gun.

“We need to do something with the young people around here. We need to get them more active where they won’t be out here with this craziness,” Damond Williams said.

Pam Reed and her husband became burglary victims in the First District on Bienville Street earlier this year.

“So, they sat right here on the ground drinking beer and unscrewed this panel and pulled it off,” Reed said.

They were among 226 other homeowners victimized in the past 18 months. Reed said thieves stole her husband’s work tools.

“My husband has been put on sidelines for it all summer. In the meantime, now he’s looking for a shop, but we were looking to buy a house. Now, we won’t buy a house because now we have to rent a shop, so it definitely damaged us from moving forward,” Reed said.

Uptown in the Second District, Tulane University sent out a warning to students as the NOPD investigated an aggravated burglary on Panola Street.

Three co-eds were tied up and robbed last year.

“It’s just scary because you think you’ve become lax because you live in a neighborhood that nothing ever happens, and then something like this happens. Of course, then you have to be more vigilant,” said Maria Motch.

Earlier this month, a Tulane student in the 1000 block of Pine Street woke up just before 5 a.m. to find an intruder’s hands on her throat.

Burglaries in the Second District have trended up over the past 18 months.

Check out this graph. You can see the upward trend from January 2014 through the middle of 2015.

That is not the case in the Eighth District. Remember, more burglaries are committed in there than in any other district in the city, but this graph shows a pretty dramatic drop in burglaries over the past year and a half.

Victims believe it will take more than just police to stop the crimes affecting thousands across New Orleans every year.

“I do think that neighbors have to learn to start supporting each other. Keep an eye out. That’s the best you can do,” Reed said.

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Mobile users can view the data charts and tables in this story by clicking this link.

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