NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Twenty-year-old Derrell Hilton is jailed on bond after police say he committed two mid-day armed robberies in the Garden District.
On Thursday just after 2:30 p.m., Hilton approached two men sitting in a car in the 1400 block of Sixth Street, according to investigators. They said he pointed a gun at the victims and demanded their money.
The two men, though, didn't have any money, so police said Hilton grabbed their cell phones and left.
He didn't seem to go far.
Police said Hilton ended up just four blocks away at Second and Coliseum streets, where tourists are often walking through the Garden District.
"Actually, when we got off the tour bus to walk over there, we looked at the cars and stuff around here and assumed this was a pretty safe area," said Ben Bevington, from Ohio.
It's the same intersection where police said Hilton approached two tourists and a tour guide and demanded at gunpoint that the women hand over their purses.
Police said after he grabbed their purses, Hilton took off and the tour guide ran behind him. Hilton allegedly pushed the guide to the ground and got away.
An intense search began and the NOPD used the GPS on the first victim's cell phone to ping Hilton's location miles away in Pigeon town. After a brief car chase, Hilton crashed at Cohn and Joliet streets.
"They came from right here, and they crashed into the gate. After crashing into the gate, they ran and police had the whole area surrounded," said resident Manuel Oubre.
The NOPD set up a perimeter in the area.
"He got over the fence and broke into the back of our house. He didn't take anything. Our house was still secure, but it was our wash room he actually got into," said Ada Vinnette.
Police said they eventually found Hilton near Vinnette's home in the 1800 block of Cambronne. At first, police said Hilton tried to lie to officers about what he was doing in the neighborhood.
"He actually told the police that he was working for us, doing some landscaping. He had a hammer and some other stuff. We have a concrete yard, so he wasn't doing any landscaping," Vinnette said.
Hilton was taken into custody, and police said he confessed to both armed robberies.