NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - For months, neighbors have woken up to find their vehicle windows smashed.
"I’m disgusted, pissed off, it has hit home,” said Deborah Gray. “Anytime you can come in someone’s driveway bust the window of an officer’s car the public needs to know about it and I’m tired of it. "
It’s an issue affecting people all over the city.
“I’m fed up. I’ve had it,” Gray said. “I’ve been in the East for almost 30 years. The crime has never been this bad.”
Monday was the latest string of vehicle break-ins across Lakeview. NOPD detectives were busy investigating nearly a dozen incidents and for some victims, it wasn’t the first time it happened.
“We’ve been hit so many times in this neighborhood there is nothing of value left in the vehicles overnight, everyone brings their electronics inside, everyone locks their car doors, everyone brings their firearms inside, it’s kind of pointless at this point, there’s nothing left of value in these vehicles to take,” Gray said.
That prompted NOPD to issue an alert to residents of a new method burglars are using. In a letter posted on the Lakeview Neighborhood Watch Facebook page says, “Investigators learned that groups of juvenile burglars and car thieves have changed their method of operation by targeting vehicles with “tinted windows”.
Former NOPD sergeant, Michael LeVasseur believes thieves are targeting tinted windows because it’s quieter.
"With the film on the window it stops the glass on the window from falling, sliding all the over the place and making a lot of noise,” said LeVasseur. “It prevents them from getting injured when they are reaching in there because it stays in one piece and they just push it in."
According to online NOPD data, in Lakeview, vehicle burglaries are up 33 percent compared to the same time period last year.
“They’re going to break into any car, it doesn’t matter,” said Lakeview resident Richard Edrington.
In the letter to residents, the commander says investigators have several leads in multiple investigations. They add, make sure to lock your vehicles and remove all valuables and weapons.