NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Two men are behind bars for committing a string of armed robberies this month, according to the New Orleans Police Department.
On Aug. 11, Fifth District officers along with the NOPD's TIGER Unit arrested Joseph Lewis, 22, and Laquan Grant, 23, in connection with a series of armed robberies that occurred in early August.
Police say the pair robbed a man on Aug. 1 in the 2700 block of North Rampart Street. The victim told police that around 3 a.m., he was approached from behind and allegedly had the barrel of a gun placed against his back. The suspect then demanded money from the victim, but the victim responded that he had no money to give. He gave the perpetrator his debit card and PIN number, after which the perpetrator fled. The perpetrator in that case was described as a black male, standing approximately 6'2"-6'3" tall and weighing about 260 pounds. He was wearing a black shirt and black ski mask.
Police have also linked one of the men to an armed carjacking on Aug. 8 in the 2700 block of Royal Street. Just after 2:30 a.m., a woman exited a business and was approaching her vehicle when she was approached from behind by an unknown man. The subject allegedly told the victim not to move and demanded money before reportedly racking the slide of a semi-automatic pistol. The victim threw her keys and cell phone at the perpetrator, who then stole the woman's purple 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser and fled the area. The victim described the perpetrator as a black male standing between 5'11" and 6'3" tall with a heavy build and wearing a dark colored shirt and ski mask.
Another armed carjacking was reported on Aug. 8 in the 2300 block of Royal Street. Around 10 p.m., the victim was exiting his vehicle when he was approached by an unknown subject who demanded his keys while placing what the victim believed was a handgun against the victim's side. The victim complied and the perpetrator fled in the victim's 2001 black Ford Expedition SUV. The perpetrator was described as a black male standing about 6'0" to 6'2" tall and weighing approximately 180 pounds. He was wearing a dark shirt and blue jeans, with the bottom half of his face covered with a red paisley bandana.
An armed robbery on Aug. 9 occurred at the intersection of Port Street and North Villere Street. Around 11:30 p.m., two victims were approached from behind by two unknown black males demanding the victims' money. The victims complied and the perpetrators fled on foot. The first perpetrator was described as standing 6'1" to 6'2" tall with a medium build, wearing all dark clothing and red bandana covering his face. The second perpetrator, who reportedly brandished a black semi-automatic handgun, was described as standing 5'8" tall with a slim build and wearing all dark clothing with a black bandana covering his face.
As investigation into these incidents progressed, TIGER Unit investigators assisted Fifth District detectives by seeking additional video on all four crimes scenes. Video footage for each scene showed two unidentified black males stalking the victims on foot.
On Aug. 11, surveillance units located the stolen Ford Expedition and followed it to a residence the 2500 block of Port Street. Once the vehicle stopped, marked NOPD units moved in and took the vehicle's two occupants – later identified as Lewis and Grant – into custody. Search warrants enacted for the residence and the stolen Ford Excursion revealed further evidence linking the two subjects to the armed robberies.
During questioning by detectives, Lewis confessed to his involvement in all four armed robbery incidents, while also implicating Grant in three of the incidents.
Lewis and Grant were arrested and booked into the Orleans Parish Justice Center. Lewis was booked with five counts of armed robbery with a firearm, two count of illegal possession of stolen things and for violation of parole. Grant was booked with four counts of armed robbery with a firearm and two counts of illegal possession of stolen things.