NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Surveillance cameras captured the terrifying moment three men carjacked a woman near the Fair Grounds.
It happened Thursday night around 9 p.m. in the 1600 block of Crete Street.
"Our little block in this Bayou St. John neighborhood always felt pretty safe, but it clearly can happen anywhere that you are," the victim said.
The woman, who did not want to be identified, was behind the wheel of a Toyota Scion, driving home from a night out in the French Quarter.
She slowly pulled into her neighborhood, but what she did not know she was being followed by the three perpetrators seen in the video.
"They clearly are just men with darkness in their hearts and decided they were going to take something that wasn't theirs and terrify somebody in the process," the victim said.
The woman said she was talking on the phone as she parked her car on Crete St. The three men spotted a crime of opportunity.
Cars parked outside this auto lot provided the robbers perfect cover to wait as they plotted their next step.
The video shows the men spring into action. The victim says the man wearing orange made a crude ski mask out of his knit cap. He seemed to come out of nowhere.
"I just saw one who literally the second I opened my door was in my face and said 'give me your keys,'" the victim said.
She did what she was told, handing over her keys and cell phone. The men quickly got into her Toyota Scion and took off.
"It was a brand new car. I had made my first payment earlier in the day. They took my phone, they took my keys, so I couldn't get in my house," she said. "I have to totally re-key my house because the thought of them having my key out there is frightening."
The woman is still trying to tie up the loose ends this crime created. A friend loaned her a car for the day. A locksmith is switching out her locks. And she will need a new phone. But she feels fortunate to be alive and hopeful police will use the video to bring these criminals to justice.
"The cameras will probably be the way that they catch this guy," she said.