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Mid-City businesses targeted in rash of burglaries, armed robberies

Source: NOPD Source: NOPD
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

Several Mid-City businesses have been targeted by robbers lately, leaving owners struggling to protect their assets and reassure their employees.

“There was receipts and stuff everywhere, which wasn’t normal, so I came over here and there was change all over the floor,” said Joanna Palmer,the owner of Rue 127 on N. Carrollton Avenue.

Palmer said she knew instantly that someone had broken in overnight. She said the robber even left a screwdriver on the counter.

“We didn’t’ have our cameras working at that point, but now they do work,” Palmer said.

And it happened again. It was Tuesday, Feb. 23, when Rue 127 cameras captured an image of a man who broke in around 4:30 a.m. This time, the criminal broke in through their expensive French doors on the front of the restaurant.

“This window was smashed in, like, with a hand, and then there was a whole section missing here which they put outside," Palmer said. "They crawled in through the opening.”

Once inside, the burglar seemed to make the place his own, strolling through the business.

“He walked through the dining room and made his way into the kitchen. He actually turned on the light in the service station and was very nice because he turned it off on the way out,” Palmer said.

The robber made his way back to the bar, and stole a single item before he left - an $11 bottle of Vodka that was half-empty.

Palmer, however, was out of a lot more than that.

“That door was $640 to fix,” she said.

Four days after the second Rue 127 burglary, a man pointed a gun at the cashier inside Baskin Robbins just up the street and made off with a couple hundred dollars. Three days later, on March 1, police said a man walked into Smoothie King less than a block away and held up the cashier at gunpoint. He got away with about $500.

“Yeah, It’s very concerning,” said Joel Rathfon, owner of the latest business to be victimized.

Police said someone broke a back window to get into Theo's Pizza in the 4000 block of Canal Street. The man opened the cash register and damaged property, but didn’t take anything.

“I think it’s just sad because you’re hitting businesses. Nobody deserves that,” Palmer said.

Police do not believe the burglaries at Theo’s and Rue 127 are related. They do say, however, that the same person may be responsible for the armed robberies at  Baskin Robbins and Smoothie King.

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