City sees 18 armed robbery victims in less than 24 hours

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - "He just came on me directly with the pistol pointed directly at my head."

This New Orleans man is still shaken after he was robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight.

"I was just reacting to the situation, basically. He had the upper hand on me," said the victim.

The man, in his 60s, is a retiree, still working to rebuild his family home after Katrina.

That's where he was, Monday at around 3:30 in afternoon when he saw a suspicious looking man walking down his block. By the time the victim realized the perpetrator was headed toward him, he was only feet away, the victim staring down the barrel of a gun.

"First he said to stay in the vehicle. Then he said, 'No, get out,' and he tried to get into the back seat," the victim said. "I jammed him between the door and myself, then I just b-lined out of there, trying to find a safe haven."

The man ran to his neighbor's home, the perpetrator following close behind.

"I rang the doorbell and he proceeded behind me, came into the yard," said the victim. "I grabbed a table because he was trying to point the gun. He look like he was getting ready to shoot."

Luckily, the neighbor opened her door.

"It's him in a very panic state and I hear, 'Something something gun,'" said neighbor Stephanie Reed. "I just open the door and tell him to get inside. As he gets inside and we lock the door back up, we can see his car zoom off."

"He came back out of the yard, jumped in my car and from there he took off. All my tools, everything in it," the victim explained.

Surveillance video from a nearby business caught images of the suspect. It's black man in his early to mid-20's, about 5'5" or 5'6" and 150 or 160 pounds with tattoos on his arms.

"We are lucky he was able to get out, get away and get into my house safely," said Reed.

"We definitely have a problem. It's far worse than it was before Katrina, even, and it's growing," the victim said.

The man is one of 18 armed robbery victims in less than 24 hours.

One happened at the Waffle House on Old Gentilly; another one just down the road near Benefit and Music Streets. And one was in the Ninth Ward, where tourists from London were held at gunpoint in their Air BNB.

"They heard a knock on the door, and once they open the door, they were ambushed by guys. They were robbed, pushed around, robbed. No one was hurt. They took their money, their jewelry," said housekeeper Melinda Dell.

"Here's your authentic New Orleans experience," said Reed.

Her father was there, visiting from Maine, when her neighbor came for help.

"It's upsetting it happened so close to my house. I can't say it was totally surprising," said Reed.

Yet, victims like Reed's neighbor say something has to change.

"There's got to be a whole lot of effort to stop it. By all means necessary," said the victim.

The man we says he's out about $15,000.

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