NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Minutes before midnight Wednesday night a man is seen in surveillance video, obtain by FOX 8, walking into a gas station store on the 2000 block of Gentilly Boulevard and heads directly to the clerk.
The video shows the robber rack the gun and point it at the clerk, who complies, the gunman then runs away.
The same night on Broad and Banks at Banks Meat and Market, as a woman leaves the store someone across the street walks towards her direction.
Surveillance video shows her vehicle headlights blink, presumably as she unlocks it. A thief rushes towards her, there is a bit of a back-and-forth, until the robber points a gun at the victim’s head. The gunman gets in the car then someone, across the street, runs towards the vehicle and gets into the passenger seat.
“She was avoiding him,” says Banks Meat and Market employee Kimberly Florence, “telling him no,” she said. “I would have done the same thing.”
According to preliminary reports from the NOPD these are two of three armed robberies reported Wednesday night.
“I would have just given it to him,” Florence said. “I’m not about to fight. I’m not about to fuss. I’m just about to give it to you and let you go. Take the car not my life.”
LSU Health Criminologist Dr. Peter Scharf says these incidents are not isolated but unfortunately becoming daily occurrences.
“It’s all over the city,” Scharf said. “It’s in areas that we don’t associate with violent crime, but we have violent crime.” Scharf has two theories for the increase. The first, he believes, these are the same criminals committing similar offenses in different neighborhoods. “They call them frequent flyers. These are people who were criminals a long time, before COVID.”
His other idea is related to the ongoing pandemic.
“The second theory is this a product of the economic chaos of COVID, chaos in the streets, you look at the government funding, people don’t know where their rent is coming from,” Scharf said.
Florence says it doesn’t matter what’s going on but says the violence is getting out of hand.
“I think they need to catch these guys who’s doing it and lock them up.”
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