Frustration grows over Smash and Grab incidents across city

Uptown residents frustrated with vehicle breakins

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - There were more car burglaries overnight.

“It was roughly around 11:30 p.m. and I’m sitting on the sofa watching T.V,” says Kearney Walters.

Kearney Walters says he heard the glass breaking and walked outside, spooking the criminals.

“Immediately as I’m walking out the door, they’re in the car. They saw me and they jumped in their cars and took off,” says Walters.

Thieves broke into 35 vehicles overnight, breaking windows in Uptown and Irish Channel neighborhoods.

Victims say enough is enough.

“It’s outrage you know. It’s just one thing after another and things can’t seem to get fixed,” says Walters.

Superintendent Shaun Ferguson says the NOPD is frustrated too.

“It has gotten to the point where our District Captains know the names of some of these individuals. That’s how familiar we are with these individuals, and that’s never a good thing,” says Ferguson.

Ferguson says in 2019, car burglaries were the department’s biggest challenge when incidents across New Orleans increased by more than 60 percent.

“We have various operations that we set up and they have been successful like the Lakeview incident. I would say good job to the Lakeview community. They helped us,” says Ferguson.

FOX 8 was there as residents pointed police to one of the suspects. He also says the new policy at Juvenile Court that requires arrested juveniles with open cases to be detained made a big difference.

“Prior to that we were averaging about 150 to 160 auto burglaries per week. That very first week that they started that policy, we dropped to 45 auto burglaries. Last week, we had 80 burglaries,” says Ferguson.

Ferguson says while the policy is making a difference, the challenge continues. He says his officers arrested a man Thursday night in possession of a gun and now they’re investigating his connection to the auto burglaries.

“That’s why I constantly encourage everyone not to engage these individuals, as frustrated as week as may be, try to take the high road and let us address it on their behalf,” says Ferguson.

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