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Neighbors fed up with crime take matters into their own hands

Police say crime is down by 21 percent in the Third District, which includes Lakeview. Police say crime is down by 21 percent in the Third District, which includes Lakeview.
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

Neighbors fed up with crime plan to take matters into their own hands after the recent armed robbery of a man and his son in Lakeview. 

"We just want a safer neighborhood, and, you know, I know our neighborhood comparatively speaking is very safe in New Orleans, but one carjacking is too many as far as we are concerned," Lakeview resident Marc Frischhertz said.  

That's why Frischhertz and Gino Ascani formed a Facebook group Thursday. It's called Lakeview Citizen Watch, and their message is clear - they intend to fight crime in the neighborhood.

"The response was so overwhelming that we decided there's more we can do with this. We can take this further," said Frischhertz.

They started the group after last weeks armed robbery on Gen. Haig.

"We're working on getting bumper stickers or reflective stickers for every resident of Lakeview. That way automatically the car is detected whether they belong or don't belong," Ascani said.

New Orleans police say crime is down by 21 percent in the Third District, which includes Lakeview.

"Statistics don't matter when you get armed robbed. They don't. You could have zero crime, [but] if something happens that could have been prevented, which it could have been, then statistics really don't matter," Ascani said. 

But the president of the Lakeview Crime Prevention District said they've been working to fight crime now for 17 years. And he said their methods - which include an extra $125 in taxes each year for additional police patrols - are working.  

"We had 1 percent crime in the whole city. One percent took place in the Lakeview area. That's an unbelievable statistic. We had a 20 percent  drop this month alone in crime, so when you look at the successes of where we are headed to, we've been extremely successful," Lakeview Crime Prevention District President, Freddy Yoder said. 

But, Ascani and Frischhertz said they're working on new ideas to make their community even safer.

"That crime that happened last week, the carjacking where guns were put to the heads of people, it really kind of woke up a lot of people," Frischhertz said. 

Lakeview Citizens Watch will host a meeting Thursday night at Lakeview Harbor to talk about recent crime in the area and ways to address it. The meeting starts at 6 p.m..

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