Police investigate 21 weekend armed robberies

Violent weekend in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - "These people made a conscious decision to commit these crimes, and they're going to be held accountable for committing these crimes," says Chief Michael Harrison.

Harrison says going into last weekend, the number of armed robberies year-to-date were down by nearly two dozen. From Friday until Monday morning, though, those numbers changed dramatically. Police investigated 21 armed robberies. Six of them were carjackings.

"It's money and stolen cars," says one victim who was robbed Sunday evening.

He had just finished cutting grass in front of his New Orleans East home when a young man approached and asked him for directions to a nearby park.

"I answered the question and went back to doing what I was doing. I didn't pay attention to him walk up to me and he say, 'give me your wallet,'" says the victim.

His wife describes what happened next.

"He said, 'I don't have the wallet,' so he makes noise with his keys, and they said, 'give me your keys.' He said he wouldn't give them his keys, so they started punching and hitting him," she says.

The victim's wife says one man had a gun pointed at her husband, while another man repeatedly beat him to the head and body.

"I heard a big scream, and I get out there and I say, 'hey, hey!'" says the victim's wife.

She says the men jumped into a car and took off.

"It looks like we are unsafe everywhere," she says.

Just minutes before this armed robbery, a 68-year-old man was robbed at gunpoint in Pontchartrain Park.

Brazen violence was also captured on surveillance video early Sunday morning in the Holy Cross neighborhood. Employees of the Brother's Food Mart on St. Claude Avenue say the same man robbed the store twice in two hours. The second time the robber came in to get money from the register, the cashier opened fire on him, shattering the front door.

While the NOPD believes several of the crimes are related, they also say juveniles are likely responsible for most of them.

"They might be kids, but it's absolute grown up behavior, and we are going to treat them as such," Harrison says.

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