Two people walking along Coliseum Street in the Garden District were confronted by an armed robber within minutes of one another early Monday, police said.
About 7:55 a.m., a 60-year-old woman was walking on Second Street near Coliseum when she was approached by a stranger pulled a long gun from his waistband and demanded her purse, police said. The woman began screaming and ran to a nearby home to call police, and the gunman took off back down Second, police said.
About 15 minutes later, a 25-year-old man was walking his dog near on Coliseum near Fourth when he was confronted by a man who unzipped his windbreaker to reveal a long gun in his front waistband, police said. The robber told the victim to empty his pockets, but the victim said he didn’t have any pockets in his gym shorts, so the gunman patted him down and then told him to turn around and walk away, police said.
Given the close proximity and time, the two robberies are likely the work of the same suspect, said NOPD Sixth District Commander Robert Bardy.
The first victim described the suspect as a 5-foot-tall, 150-pound black man in his early 20s with short hair under a black baseball cap, wearing a short-sleeve black shirt and blue jeans. The second victim estimated he was taller, possibly 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, and in his late 20s, and said he was clean shaven with a mole under his right eye. He also said the robber was wearing a black Pirates baseball cap with a gold “P” stitched onto it.
UPDATE, 4 p.m. Oct. 3: Sgt. Sandra Contreras of the NOPD Sixth District persons crimes division said Thursday that investigators still believe the robberies were the work of the same man, in part because the description of a long-barreled gun is so unusual in robberies. The first victim, Contreras said, was so scared that she had very little confidence in her description of the man, and investigators believe the most salient aspect of the description is that of the mole or growth under the man’s eye.