NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Armed robbers struck 22 times so far this week. Two incidents happened overnight.
Police say a suspect approached a man and his two friends in the 2600 block of Dreaux Avenue and asked if he wanted to fight. The victim said, "no." The suspect then pulled out a weapon, grabbed the victim's cell phone and took off.
Then, police say, a man put a gun to a victim's forehead and demanded money in the 8200 block of Apple Street. The victim said he didn't have any, and police say the gunman took off with the victim's car instead.
"Yeah, He pulled a gun on him and said, 'Give me your money,'" says one victim's brother-in-law.
On Halloween morning, police say a gunman went on a crime spree in Gentilly, committing three armed robberies and an attempted rape. The first incident happened on Eads Street. The victim's brother-in-law says he was putting air in his tire just before 6 a.m., when the gunman walked up and, at first, asked what time it was. He then demanded money.
"He only took $25. He's going to tell him, 'I've got to feed my family and things.' Well, if you have to feed your family, go get a job," says the victim's brother-in-law.
Police say the same gunman robbed a woman as she got out of her car on Lotus Street, and then struck again in the 2700 block of Selma Street.
"It's not just one person per armed robbery, but a few people are committing a number of them around the city," says NOPD Chief Michael Harrison.
Harrison says he's aware of the recent spike in armed robberies, but he says overall, armed robberies are down so far this year compared to last.
"We're down about 15 percent in armed robberies compared to this same time last year. That's about 114 fewer armed robberies," he says.
Harrison credits the decrease, in part, to an armed robbery task force known as TIGER. The team, he says, targets cases that are being committed by the same perpetrators.
"It's a combination of hard work between our TIGER team investigating armed robberies, our district detectives and the patrol officers being visible and really working hard to investigate these," Harrison says.
So far, police have not made any arrests in the 22 armed robberies that happened this week.