Man wielding garden tool robs Mid-City GNC - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Man wielding garden tool robs Mid-City GNC

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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

“It’s a little scary,” says Josue Suazo.

At 6:30 p.m. Monday, police say a man walked into the GNC store in the 400 block of North Carrollton.

“I guess he was casing the place, and then he was asking a couple of questions as if he was a customer. He had a backpack on,” says Suazo, the general manager of nearby Felipe's.

Investigators say the man left, but returned a short time later with a garden tool in hand. He threatened the cashier with it and demanded money from the register. The robber made off with $700.

“When something like this happens, it’s sad," says Suazo.

People who frequent the Mid-City Market are surprised by the crime, simply because of the almost-constant activity in the area.

“I mean, criminals are getting pretty brazen and starting to do things, but that could be in any neighborhood. You just have to work through it,” says Edwin Delahoussaye.

“There’s actually been a few robberies out here in this area. It keeps getting closer and a little bit bolder,” says Suazo.

In the past three weeks, the NOPD has investigated armed robberies at Baskin Robbins across the street from GNC and at the Smoothie King a block away. Surveillance cameras captured an image of the man responsible for the Smoothie King robbery.

“It’s always something that we need to be on the lookout for,” says Suazo.

Business owners and general managers in the area are sticking together because of the recent rash of armed robberies.

“We actually posted a picture of the guy that hit the Smoothie King, and we’ve showed all the businesses around here the picture,” says Suazo.

Suazo says they’ve had meetings concerning safety in the past.

“We’ve compiled an email list to stay in contact with each other. We let each other know if we see someone roaming around and not really buying anything,” says Suazo.

Customers say they’ll also remain vigilant.

“I think maybe keep your head on a swivel and make sure you’re aware of your surroundings, but I still fell pretty safe in this neighborhood,” says Delahoussaye.

Police are still investigating the GNC robbery, and officers say the same person may be responsible for the armed robberies at Baskin Robbins and Smoothie King.

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