Tourist on bike becomes victim of brazen purse snatching - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Tourist on bike becomes victim of brazen purse snatching

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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

Tour guide Benjamin Maddocks loves nothing more than showing off the city, but his Wednesday afternoon tour did not go as planned when one of the bike riders became a crime victim.

“We were heading back, turning the corner right over here on the street when two kids came up on a moped,” Maddocks said.

Maddocks said the kids on the scooter rode up alongside the bike riders, reached over and ripped a purse from around a woman’s neck. A construction worker, who didn’t want to be identified, witnessed the whole thing.

“One was sitting like this. The other was sitting on the handle bars, and that’s how they did it,” the witness said.

He said the victim, a tourist from Michigan, wasn’t hurt but became visibly upset.

“She was kind of in shock, and then she looked around. She saw her purse was gone, and she started crying,” the witness said.

“The kid on the back of the scooter was just laughing. He saw it as a joke. He was smiling,” Maddocks said.

Right after it happened, one of the other people on the tour called 911. The tour guide decided to go after the robbers on his bike.

“They took a right on Rampart St. I followed behind them, until we hit the construction. They rode up on the sidewalk, and got away,” Maddocks said.

“We can’t believe this happened. We’re spending more money in taxes. There’s supposed to be more policing going on in this city, and this happens in broad daylight a block from our shop,” Ryan Bergeron said.

Bergeron, who owns FreeWheelin’ Bike Tours, said he’s upset about the NOPD’s response time.

“There’s a police station three blocks this way," he said. "There’s a police station three blocks that way. And we didn’t see one cop the entire time. It took over an hour for police to respond to this incident. We could have walked to either police station by the time they responded to our call.”

 The NOPD said the initial call came in to 911 at 5:08 p.m. The dispatched officer arrived on the scene at 6:07, an hour later. The NOPD said a purse snatching is always considered a code one, meaning it’s a low-priority call.

“That’s why they’re taking officers off of desk duty and putting them on the street. Honestly, I haven’t seen much of a difference,” Bergeron said.

“It’s another bad impression of the city when we don’t have a quick response time and our police are not getting the resources to come out to these things quicker,” Maddocks said.

The owner of the tour company said someone found the victim’s purse late last night and returned it to her. The young robbers stole her cash and iPhone.

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