Neighborhood under '24-hour survelliance' hit twice by gunman in 1 hour

Lakeview Armed Robberies

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Signs posted in the Lake Vista community tout the neighborhood's 24-hour surveillance, but even the residents who live there are not immune to New Orleans crime.

NOPD investigators are searching for a gunman who held up two teenage girls on Hawk Street on Wednesday around 8:30 p.m. Investigators said a man armed with two handguns approached the girls while they were getting in their car. The victims said the man pointed the guns at the driver, who complied and gave him a cell phone.

After the robbery, the man ran back to a car, jumped in the passenger seat and the driver took off.

The armed robbery was followed by an attempted armed robbery at the intersection of Robert E. Lee and Spanish Fort Blvd. around 9 p.m., where a man with two handguns approached two people demanding money and cell phones, according to NOPD. But after the gunmen found the victims had nothing to offer, the man jumped in a two door sedan and drove off.

It's too early to confirm, but detectives are looking at the possibility that the crimes were committed by the same person or people, an NOPD spokesman said. Detectives are following up on any and all leads in the investigations.

Lake Vista residents pay $220 a year for their crime prevention district. The district plans to add even more security cameras and move the ones already in place to give investigators a better vantage point to catch criminals preying on residents.

The Lake Vista Crime Prevention District pays for patrol officers to escort residents in and out of their homes if they don't feel safe.

From January to August of 2016, residents used that service more than 1,500 times, according to the Lake Vista Crime Prevention District.

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