NOPD arrests 3 for Lakeview auto theft

3 arrested in Lakeview car theft
Updated: Jul. 18, 2018 at 1:00 PM CDT
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Malik Spencer (Source: OPSO)
Malik Spencer (Source: OPSO)
Dwight Robinson (Source: OPSO)
Dwight Robinson (Source: OPSO)

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The NOPD has arrested three men for a Lakeview car theft, and they say the men may be connected to more crimes. Officers picked up Donovan Mitchell, Dwight Robinson and Malik Spencer early Wednesday morning. Officers also found the victim's Jeep trashed.

Lakeview resident Julien Chouest is happy to have his Jeep back. But he's not happy about its condition.

"They busted open my glove box with my screwdriver. The entire exterior is scratched, and the front bumper is gone," Chouest explained.

Surveillance video shows how the suspects stole Chouest's SUV from his driveway Sunday morning, making several attempts to back out, running into the neighbor's house, even ripping out a column before driving away with the vehicle. Early Wednesday morning, Chouest said detectives knocked on his door, telling him the SUV had been found.

The NOPD said the surveillance video helped officers identify one of the suspects after the trio was spotted pulling on door handles on Frenchmen.

"One of the perpetrators had a large growth on his left calf, and the female officer saw it when she interviewed him, and she went back and looked at my video and was able to identify it when he was walking around this area right here," Chouest said.

Chouest said the NOPD picked up a copy of the surveillance video from him Tuesday afternoon, a full two days after he first told them he had it.

In a statement Tuesday, police told FOX 8 that as they were reviewing the video, there were no clear images of the subjects to release that would assist in their identification.

"There was definitely clear, clear evidence of two individuals' faces, for sure," Chouest said.

Now, the NOPD is looking into whether the suspects committed other crimes. They found items inside Chouest's SUV that they said belong to another victim in Lakeview.

Chouest said it will cost a pretty penny to clean up the damage left behind in his Jeep, but he's glad the suspects are off the street and can't do this to anyone else.

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