The rash of armed robberies across Uptown New Orleans has continued into another week, no longer believed to be the work of a single gunman targeting lone victims on the street, now involving multiple apparently-unrelated incidents of groups of robbers attacking a restaurant manager, barging into an unlocked home and forcing a man to give up his car in front of his home.
For the most part, the robberies do not appear to be related, said Lt. Mike Montalbano of the NOPD Second District investigative unit. Most were conducted in such different circumstances – using different methods in varying locations – that they appear to be conducted by unrelated groups of people, he said.
- Around 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, a man working on a home at the intersection of General Pershing and Dryades was robbed of his cash at gunpoint by group of three men.
- The manager of the Roly Poly in the 5400 block of Tchoupitoulas was taking out the trash about 9 p.m. Friday as he closed up for the night when he was approached by two men clad in bandanas holding a chrome handgun who forced him to give up the night’s earnings from the safe, police said.
- Shortly before 9 p.m. Saturday, three men in their 30s were sitting inside a home in the 4200 block of South Johnson when a group of four or five teens burst in, one of them wielding a semiautomatic handgun and demanding their property, Montalbano said. The victims gave up their cell phones and wallets, and the gunmen left.
Neighbors told police that the victims often leave their front door open when the weather is good. Montalbano said that unlike many home invasions in New Orleans, the South Johnson case does not appear to be drug-related or otherwise committed by acquaintances of the victims.
“They were legitimate vicitms,” Montalbano said.
- A man sitting on his porch in the 1800 block of Robert Street about 11:30 p.m. Saturday was approached by a stranger who pointed a gun at him and demanded his property, and made off with a cell phone and a laptop, police said. This was the only recent case that showed some similarity to the recent string of robberies around the Hurstville and Riverbend neighborhoods, Montalbano said. His hairstyle was described as being in short twists, however, which is different from the close-cropped styles described in the previous week’s cases.
- A woman was walking near the intersection of Hickory and Carrollton about 6:30 a.m. Sunday when a man emerged from behind a tree and took her purse. Montalbano said detectives have identified a possible suspect they are hoping the victim will be able to identify.
- A man who had come home from dinner about 11 p.m. Tuesday and was listening to music as he sat in his car in front of his home in the 4700 block of Constance heard a rap on the window, and turned to see a man pointing a gold or silver handgun at him, Montalbano said. The gunman demanded the victim get out of the car but leave the keys in it, and then took off in the car on Constance.
Two officers patrolling near the intersection of Napoleon and Dryades heard the robbery call and then saw a car speeding down Dryades several blocks away, Montalbano said. By the time they reached it, however, it had been abandoned, all four doors flung open as if at least four people had been inside.
Although police have yet to identify suspects in any of the gunpoint robberies, Montalbano said detectives are working strong leads in several of them. Fingerprints were lifted in several of the cases, and investigators are trying to recover video footage from private security cameras in some of the others, he said.