NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -Tourists and locals alike say a visit to Audubon Zoo was a great start to their day, until it was time to leave.
“We were Just at the Cool Zoo had to come back to this,” said driver Giselle Grisoli.
“The car was open, I asked if my car window was down, and sure enough window was busted,” said Mason Burden.
Victims estimate more than 20 parked cars had windows smashed out, the suspects likely looking for select items.
“They were looking for weapons and cash,” said Mea Ratcliff
As many visitors say they had been at the zoo for hours, it's hard to pinpoint exactly when the break-ins happened.
Many drivers saying what astounds them even more is all their belongings were accounted for, despite expensive purses, cell phones, and other valuable items inside.
“It’s a pretty feminine looking car so I don’t know why they chose this one, but I saw a number of cars like this one,” said Ratcliff.
“It’s a crime of opportunity, but they didn’t take anything. There’s nothing to be taken,” said Marc Allison.
But this wasn’t the first vehicle break-in incident at Audubon Zoo. A search of the NOPD crime map statistics show there were multiple vehicle break-ins reported at the same zoo parking lot less than seven days ago.
“You don’t think about it when you come out. You’re ready to leave, you had a good day, and its pretty sad,” said Ratcliff.
Police were on scene dusting for prints and gathering statements and information; a welcome sight to those now facing hundreds of dollars in window replacements.
“I have to keep a positive attitude in front of my child, but I’m pretty mad,” said Grisoli.
Despite the additional cost, worry, and headache, drivers say it won't ruin their day.
“We still have other stuff planned. You can’t live your life in fear,” said Allison.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Audubon Zoo says they’re aware of both the incidents today and the incidents that happened about a week ago. They said they continue to work with NOPD.
NOPD asks for anyone with information to contact Crimestoppers.