Crimetracker: Brazen attempted armed robbery in New Orleans East

Latest on New Orleans crime data

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - At a time when many people are heading to work, a man pumping gas fell victim to an attempted armed robbery. Surveillance video shows the would-be robber creeping over and jumping into the victim’s vehicle.

The victim quickly responds and the two get into a scuffle inside the car. Eventually, the suspect runs back to his accomplice in a getaway car.

“It’s been scary. In the last couple of months, particularly in New Orleans East, we’ve seen the videos,” Dr. Ashraf Esmail said.

This unfolded in New Orleans East where violent crime is on the rise. City-data shows carjackings are up 100 percent, while homicides and shooting incidents also increased.

In the middle of the day last week, a brazen armed robbery unfolded in a New Orleans East neighborhood in the 13000 block of Willowbrook Drive.

The victim was beaten and robbed before a gunman stole his FORD F-150.

Armed Robberies are down in New Orleans East.

Dillard University Criminologist Dr. Ashraf Esmail says the crime trend in New Orleans East mirrors what’s happening across New Orleans.

Citywide, carjacking incidents spiked 118 percent, according to city-data.

“One of the things that we know about carjackings is it’s a pretty easy crime to commit. Only one out of ten people actually get caught, so you see only a small group of people really involved. That small group continues to do it because it’s an easy crime to get away with,” Dr. Esmail said.

He believes it’s become a crime of opportunity.

“People are looking for any type of means or valuables they can get their hands on and get away with it quickly,” Dr. Esmail said.

City-data shows homicides are up 58 percent and shootings are up 62 percent.

“Significant arrests have been made by all 8 of our police districts,” said NOPD Chief Shaun Ferguson.

Chief Ferguson says his officers are committed to stopping the violence and they’ve made a 60 percent increase in carjacking arrests.

“Our newly formed VCAT unit, violent crime abatement investigative team, is also taking criminals off the street,” Ferguson said.

“We’re talking about solutions and what we can do, but the solution isn’t easy. We haven’t been able to control it. It’s gotten worse, and people are looking for opportunities,” Dr. Esmail said.

Chief Ferguson says the violent crime abatement team has already made some significant arrests, and he believes the team will make a big difference in the coming months.

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