CrimeTracker Investigation: Thousands of burglaries in New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Chilling surveillance video shows burglars on Bancroft Drive in Lakeview.
Neighbors say the gunmen didn't just hit this car. In fact, they say these types of crimes have been happening regularly for the past two years.
"It's scary to see where this thing could spin up to. I know myself and other neighbors, especially the ones that were broken into. The level of anger is starting to increase," Dan Huben said.
These neighbors aren't alone. Thousands of people were victims of burglary in 2014 alone.
In this CrimeTracker Investigation, FOX 8 obtained the incident reports numbers, locations and time of day for every burglary since Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2014. One quick glance at our map, and you can't help but notice the sheer number of dots littering just about every part of the city.
Red dots, seen the most, represent car burglaries. Blue dots indicate residential burglaries.
When it comes to being a victim, no one's immune.
"It's very distressing to think that someone would come into God's house and try to steal."
The pastor at Deliverance Missionary Baptist Church in New Orleans East stopped keeping cash around after someone broke in to steal it - not once, but twice in the same week.
"I do believe if there's an area where these things are happening, someone else will see it and think they're easy prey," the pastor said.
Out of 6,000 addresses we obtained, the NOPD visited two of them more than any other, and both are apartment complexes in New Orleans East.
Burglars hit the Parc Brittany Apartments eight times. The building, located in a very desolate area between the I-10 Service Road and Lake Forest Boulevard, seems to be tucked away.
Second on our list, the Lakewind East Apartments on Bundy Road with five burglaries.
"This is probably, I hate to say it, but the worst place I've ever lived," Joseph Izak said.
Izak and Vincent Martinez moved to New Orleans six months ago from Indiana. Site unseen, they decided to move to the Lakewind East Apartments.
"It's unpatrolled. The neighbors don't look out for each other. The big lights here for safety, there's a lot of them missing bulbs," Martinez said.
They've already become victims.
"One of our lawn chairs were stolen right outside our patio. Our cable lines were cut, along with maybe two other units, and there's vandalism," Martinez said.
Both say they love the city and want to be part of New Orleans, but crime is driving them out of this neighborhood.
"To know that is scary. This is not the type of area that we want to be in," Izak said.
They'll have to really search, though, for an area that's crime free. Even when you find a street without an incident, the dots take you where criminals are striking just around the corner.
We did find some areas where the burglars seemed to stay away. Those neighborhoods though, have private security - like Lake Vista, where there were only two incidents on the outskirts of the neighborhood, one a home burglary, the other a car burglary.
Then there is Audubon Place, where gates and security guards protect the exclusive homes.
Most neighborhoods, however, aren't spared. Surveillance video of an attempted burglary on Burgundy Street. would later play a much bigger role in the high-profile investigation against teenager Marshal Coulter. Coulter, shot in the head back in 2013 for allegedly trespassing on a Marigny homeowner's property, is now charged for this crime and another burglary.
It's one of 70 incidents on Burgundy Street, which runs from the French Quarter to the Lower Ninth Ward.
It seems you're mostly likely to become a victim of burglary on Rampart Street. The street runs about 5 miles, and in a 12-month period, the NOPD has investigated 104 burglaries.
"I wasn't aware of the statistics, but it makes sense. I mean, you could get binoculars and watch people park," said musician Fred Staehle.
Staehle is no stranger to robbery. He said it's happened to him twice, and his fellow band members suffered the same fate.
"The piano player moved to town and his house was broken into. The bass player, a nice man, they robbed him on the street," Staehle said.
Along Rampart Street, plenty of people park to walk into the French Quarter. Between St. Louis and Conti streets, nine burglaries happened in 2014 and we want to point out, it's right across the street from the NOPD's First District Police Station.
On this day, Staehle decided to park in a lot on the same block.
"I mean parking here, they just look at your ticket. They know when you're coming back. They know they have two hours, three hours. It's a give-a-way," Staehle said.
Nearly half of the 6,000 burglaries reported in 2014 were auto burglaries, and 1,820 were residential burglaries. Some believe it's a crime that can be avoided, but only if everyone works together to prevent it.
"Get with you neighbors," Martinez said. "Talk to your leasing office. Talk to your local community law enforcement. It helps, but I don't think the people here like to get involved. That's probably why we are number two," Martinez said.
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