ALGIERS, LA (WVUE) - New Orleans police are investigating a rash of break-ins on the west bank. Ten businesses along General DeGaulle Drive have been hit just in the past two weeks, and investigators believe the same two burglars are responsible.
So far, only one suspect has been identified. The NOPD has obtained an arrest warrant for 17-year-old Darryl Washington in connection with multiple burglaries in the 3800 block of General DeGaulle Drive. The incidents occurred on May 23.
At 1:47 a.m., Washington was seen on video burglarizing the Smoothie King and Take 5 Oil Change stores. In each incident, police said he used a large rock and shattered the window of both businesses to gain entry and steal cash.
When located, Washington, will be booked with simple burglary of a business and criminal damage to property. Detectives are also investigating the possibility that Washington is linked to additional incidents.
Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Darryl Washington is asked to contact the Fourth District Detective Unit at 504-658-6040.
Chandra Gettys and her business partner, Niya Cooper, said their store was hit Monday around 1:30 a.m. The burglars busted in by smashing the front door and got away with some cash.
"They threw a rock through our glass door and then walked in through the door," said Gettys.
"I am very concerned about my safety, my staff, my kids. I treat my staff just like they're my family," said Cooper.
It was a brazen crime especially considering it's obvious their store in the 3800 block of General DeGaulle has security cameras.
"They seemed to not care too much that there are cameras inside and outside, and one of them wasn't trying to hide his face at all as though there was not going to be any penalty," said Gettys.
The owners didn't want their business identified, but they said the burglars cut the phone line to their alarm system, perhaps in an attempt to disable security cameras. What the burglars didn't know is they had a back-up system.
"These two culprits were actually, went behind the business, tampered with the electrical panels and tried to damage the electrical panels and the possible phone connections, which the phone connections is what our response is connected to, from our surveillance system to the monitoring company," said Gettys.
New Orleans police talked about the break-ins at a 4th district meeting Tuesday.
"We were out last night, you know, riding up and down DeGaulle the whole night and, you know, we were placed in different areas where we thought they might hit again," said Sgt. Brad Glaudi. "They know we're looking for them. That doesn't mean they're going to stop, that might just mean they took a break one night."
As the NOPD continues its investigation, Cooper and Gettys just want whomever is responsible to be caught.
"I want justice. I want them to find the person and try to stop some of this going on within the area," said Cooper.
"I think it's very sad and it's concerning that we can't get this crime under control," said Gettys.