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Uptown residents ‘fed up’ after string of robberies, carjackings near Tulane

Published: Jan. 16, 2022 at 12:40 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Tulane University students were more cautious Sunday morning (Jan. 16), after learning five separate armed robberies and carjackings occurred near campus in the span of just five hours Saturday afternoon.

“It’s just really scary, because it can just happen to anyone,” said Tulane student Katie Merk.

Merk said her being away from home and in a city seemingly awash in street crime definitely causes her parents to worry.

“My dad, he’s always worried, especially like when I go into the city,” she said. “But now, the carjackings are happening here (near campus).”

Karen Sanford lives on Audubon Street, just a few blocks from a park near the scene of one of the attempted carjackings reported Saturday at 4:20 pm.

She said her daughter’s family was victimized after they pulled over on Audubon Street to adjust one of her grandchildren’s seat belts. Her daughter, son-in-law, and two of her three grandchildren were in the car.

That’s when another car pulled up and two unidentified males got out pointing guns.

“They were yelling, ‘We have children. There are children in the car. Please don’t hurt the children,’” Sanford said.

“(The attackers) looked in the car, and my son-in-law drives a little Audi sports car and it’s a stick shift, and we assume they didn’t know how to drive a stick shift.”

Sanford said the suspects stole her daughter’s phone and not their car, but not before traumatizing the young family.

“When you start playing with my grandchildren...,” Sanford said. “First of all, my daughter and son-in-law are traumatized. But my grandchildren? My grandson, the 7-year-old, last night my daughter says he was barricading the door because he was afraid they were going to come back and get him.

“This has been going on and I’m fed up.”

Sanford is the vice president of the Upper Audubon Security District, which provides security systems to residents and patrols the area to deter suspicious activity.

“We’ve been watching this crime around the city,” she said. “Everyone is complaining, and we feel like the city government is not doing enough about it -- or anything about it. They’re just kind of brushing it over.

“We need to stand up and say, ‘Enough is enough and we’re not going to let you destroy our city,’” Sanford said.

RELATED STORY: NOPD investigating multiple carjackings near Tulane University

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