Lakeview neighbors tie same stolen car to ongoing series of burglaries and thefts

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 11:11 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - People in the Lakeview area say someone driving a gray Audi Q7 has been repeatedly breaking into their vehicles, and in some cases stealing them.

“He’s pretty efficient,” Trey Shields said. “He’s coming up and down the street, hanging out the driver-side window, pulling handles, so he can be up and down the street in 30 seconds.”

Shields says he and his neighbors know this Audi very well at this point.

“He’s pretty much hit every street that I know of within two to three blocks,” Shields said.

A neighbor on Memphis Street says he’s spotted this guy on his cameras pulling handles for four days straight, Friday to Monday, between 10-10:30 a.m.

Shields says he was nearby with his kids when the same guy started to break into the car of his neighbors, who rushed out to confront him.

“He ran outside to see what the situation was and basically the guy was hanging out his driver’s side window, breaking into his car,” Shields said. “The neighbor had actually already had his previous car stolen. So, this is actually the rental that they were breaking into.”

This happened on General Diaz Street. Just a block down the road, another neighbor said her car was stolen Sunday. When detectives pulled some nearby surveillance video, it was the same Audi Q7 from which the suspect hopped out.

Luckily, this neighbor said detectives later found her car on Desire Street in the Ninth Ward.

However, the real owner of the gray Audi isn’t so lucky. Neighbors said it was stolen from the area three weeks ago and they haven’t been able to get it back.

Meanwhile, the driver has been spotted breaking into cars from Argonne Boulevard to the west Lake Shore area.

“Everybody’s aware of it,” Shields said. “Everybody’s got their eyes out, at least in Lakeview. But, you know, we have our lives to go on with and kids to wrangle and jobs to go to.”

City data shows 65 vehicle burglaries in the neighborhood year to date, about the same as last year and the main type of crime in the neighborhood.

Auto theft has gone up, with 15 incidents year to date versus nine in the same period last year.

“I don’t know how much longer we’re gonna stick around,” Shields said. “It’s just getting out of control. I know there’s always been handle-pullers in Lakeview, but something’s got to change.”

The neighbor who provided the surveillance video says he reported it to NOPD’s Third District. We reached out to the NOPD for comment on the suspect, but have not received a response.

If you have any information, call detectives or leave an anonymous tip with Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

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