CrimeTracker Investigation: Tracking armed robberies in JP
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - At a popular eatery in Jefferson Parish, the talk over breakfast is crime.
"Jefferson Parish, during the day, I think it's OK," says Preston Montgomery.
It seems most people feel safe.
"I live in a neighborhood in between here and Clearview, and I've never had a problem," says Theresa Ruiz.
Armed robberies, though, are on the rise. With a 28 percent increase in incidents last year, we decided to crunch the numbers.
In this CrimeTracker Investigation, FOX 8 obtained the incident report numbers, locations and time of day for every armed robbery in Jefferson Parish from 2014. When you take a closer look at where they're happening, it becomes more telling. Along Veterans Boulevard in Metairie, deputies investigated a dozen armed robberies last year. Most of those hit were businesses like Smoothie Time.
The owner says, "She went straight to her throat and put the knife to the girl." In that incident, a woman wielding a knife went straight for the young cashier, yelling demands.
Just across Veterans, another young cashier at Subway was threatened by a man with a gun.
The owner says, " He had a gun, and I guess she panicked and tried to get the cash drawer to open. She couldn't get it open, so she gave him some money from the cash box."
For the most part, armed robberies on the east bank seem to be concentrated mostly around major roadways, such as between North Causeway and Galleria boulevards. It's also frequently happening between the I-10 and West Napoleon.
Some, though, are happening in neighborhoods most wouldn't expect. When deputies say at least one known gang member with an extensive criminal history decided to strike in Jefferson Parish, he alleged carjacked a woman and her daughter off of Bonnabel Boulevard.
Deputies eventually caught the suspect. That incident was one of 21 carjackings across Jefferson Parish in all of last year.
"Now there are some places that I wouldn't go across the river," says Steve Huffman.
On the west bank, Marrero ranks first for having the most incidents. It's where deputies investigated 57 armed robberies. Compare that to Waggaman, where only one armed robbery happened in all of last year.
The most dangerous area, though, seems to be along the Westbank Expressway. On our FOX 8 map, 26 dots mark the locations where deputies investigated armed robberies.
"That's almost one a day," says Theresa Ruiz.
"I mean, it's still better than New Orleans," says J.C. Durr.
Even though Jefferson Parish is dealing with an increase, there's still a drastic difference between Jefferson Parish and New Orleans. Consider this, compare 285 incidents in 2014 with 1,022 armed robberies in New Orleans last year.
While there's a significant increase of armed robberies in unincorporated Jefferson, Gretna Police say they've managed to decrease armed robberies by 35 percent.
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