CrimeTracker: Armed robbery increase
An employee of Metro PCS, whom FOX 8 is not identifying, became one of the city's most recent victims of armed robbery.
Tuesday night, just before closing, surveillance video shows a man walking into the place with a large gun and pointing it at the cashier.
"He was screaming, put your hands up and give me all the cash," says the victim.
The employee reached behind the counter and began to remove the cash.
"He told me, 'What are you doing? What's taking so long?'" says the victim.
After taking the money, he grabbed the victim's cell phone off the counter and took off.
Armed robberies like this one are happening at an alarming rate in New Orleans. According to the NOPD, from Jan. 1 to Oct. 1, there were 729 armed robberies, compared to 528 in the same time period last year.
That's a 38 percent increase.
"These numbers may seem high, and they are quite alarming, but what you don't see is the these numbers are coming off of a dramatic decrease, especially Uptown," says Deputy Chief Bob Bardy.
In a recent CrimeTracker investigation, FOX 8 obtained the incident report numbers, locations and time of day for 658 cases that were initially reported as an armed robbery. Of all the districts, the 7th, made up of New Orleans East, ranks first for having the most incidents, with 110 armed robberies this year.
"They knew what they were doing. They came in and broke my door inside of my office," says Mohanad Hindi.
Surveillance cameras at the East Side Cash and Carry on Chef Menteur Highway captured the brazen armed robbery of Hindi's store. He says his employees were terrified to come back to work.
The most concentrated number of armed robberies seem to be happening in the Marigny and French Quarter, especially on Bourbon Street and Dauphine. In an eight-block stretch, 14 armed robberies happened since Jan. 1. Bardy says every incident is taken seriously as investigators work to solve them.
"If a crime happens, there a good chance in 10 minutes we are going to be discussing that crime. If that crime spreads to another district, we're going to have a conference call with those districts," says Bardy.
Still, they say preventing armed robberies from happening is key. There's hope, with more than dozen new recruits hitting the street soon, that increased visibility will make a difference.
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