NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - NOPD is investigating two stolen cars that turned up in Gentilly Tuesday morning, thanks to reports from a quick-thinking neighbor who saw the cars being dropped off.
Besides the breeze, the birds, and the train, it’s quiet where Dreux Avenue meets Peoples Avenue.
“People take advantage of the quiet,” said the neighbor who witnessed the cars being left.
The soft whir of an engine left running for hours disrupts the peaceful spring afternoon.
One neighbor spotted a blue Dodge abandoned around 9:30 Tuesday morning, but he also noticed an unfamiliar Nissan, that suddenly took off in a hurry.
“It looked like they’re going for a joy ride,” He said. “They tore fast down this street and it’s not a street you drive fast on, the potholes will eat your car,” the neighbor said.
Then, the Nissan came back.
“I’m calling 911, I see a young man get out with gloves on and a blue surgical mask, and then another black car pulled up, a black Volkswagen and another guy got out,” the neighbor recalled. “The one kid, looked like a kid, a teenager, went from the silver car into the black car and then they talked for a bit and then they saw me looking through the window and then they took off down the road.”
NOPD determined these two cars were reported stolen from another Parish.
In 2019 there were 23 carjackings up to April 1. Last year, in that same span of time, there were 43. This year there’s 72.
NOPD calls for service about auto thefts last year were around 1,600 to the date, this year there are around 1,700.
While it was strange to see in the daylight, it’s not something this tucked-away neighborhood isn’t familiar with.
“Last year I was just walking my dog and saw the burnt-out husk, an NOPD officer investigating it, but I’ve heard from neighbors in the past, this has been a popular area to dump cars and burn,” the neighbor said.
“That’s why we created the green space,” Marvin Jones said.
Veteran Marvin Jones has lived here since 1994 and has been trying to reclaim this green space with his own money for his neighbors, turning the negative into something positive, a garden to feed those in need and teach children.
“We actually need security cameras back here, you know, each block, we need a camera back here,” Jones said. “That will draw them away from here. Of course, it’s really quiet and peaceful back here because this is God’s Good Garden, you know? The whole plan is to create an area where people can come and walk through and they can eat, you know, and be happy. That’s what it should be about.”
Jones says he is working on expanding the garden he’s created so that people can’t drive up on the grass and leave cars.
NOPD is investigating. Anyone with any information is asked to call CrimeStoppers
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