NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A couple in the Irish Channel area is beginning to feel like there is no other option besides moving out of the city. They say their cars are broken into at least once every two months, sometimes more, and it’s not just them.
“I’m literally terrified to exit my door and it doesn’t matter if it’s day or night now,” Lisa said.
After five years living a few blocks off of Magazine, cameras don’t even make Lisa feel safe anymore.
“That’s like your first line of protection, your cameras, your home camera or your dog, you pick that up and they can’t use it because they’ll never catch them,” Lisa said.
Her cameras have caught thieves over and over again, riffling through her purposely empty unlocked car in the dark four days before another team smashes the windows of her husband’s truck on Sunday afternoon.
“We hear a pop and he looks out there and the trucks broken into again and of course we’re losing our minds again,” Lisa said. “Then we look down the street and you can see them down the street doing the same thing to other people’s cars.”
No matter how empty their vehicles are, they get stuck with over $400 in window repairs at least once every two months, eating away at their bank account while trying to run a small business in a pandemic.
Lisa says she’s emotionally exhausted.
“The thing is that we’re scared and we all know that we can’t retaliate and do anything to better our situation and that just gives them the upper hand and it leaves us with nothing,” Lisa said.
She’s not the only one. NOPD online data shows a dramatic leap in 6th District vehicle related crimes from 2018 to 2019. 2020 jumped even higher.
“It’s become a severe and recurrent problem during the pandemic where multiple people that I know at this intersection have had their cars broken into multiple times just over the course of the summer and fall,” a neighbor said.
This neighbor was walking his dog late one night when he heard a crash.
“In the space of less than a minute, there’s a broken window, guy hops in, you see his feet kicking over the side of the car, rifles through, gets out onto the next one,” the neighbor said.
He quickly called police who got there in two minutes, but the thieves were already long gone.
“The speed with which they work makes it a real problem because you can’t really deal with it reactively because you’re always going to be too late,” he said.
Lisa hasn’t had much luck either when she hands her video over to investigators.
“They say that there’s really not a whole lot that they can do about it,” Lisa said.
Lisa says she would like to see more blue-light-patrols through the neighborhoods to make law enforcement more visible and hopefully to deter thieves more than a camera would. She thinks it says something that it’s become normalized to leave cars totally empty and unlocked.
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