A wave of rampant break-ins around the Carrollton area that began around Mardi Gras has finally come to an apparent end after dozens of burglary arrests, Uptown-based police detectives said.
“I knew we’d break this eventually, but it took a little longer than I thought it would,” said Commander Paul Noel at the most recent weekly meeting of the NOPD Second District leadership.
The burglary spree had been concentrated in a relatively small area of the NOPD Second District, in two zones that run from Broadway upriver to the Jefferson Parish line between South Claiborne and St. Charles, especially in West Carrollton. An analysis of NOPD crime reports in that area shows roughly 80 home break-ins, auto break-ins and stolen cars during the five weeks from Feb. 19 and March 25, a rate of about 16 per week.
During the most recent week, from March 26 to April 1, there were only three such crimes reported.
For more than a month, Noel has assigned all his officers who weren’t responding to calls elsewhere to extra patrols in the Carrollton area. As police began to make arrests on burglaries in progress without an initial slow in the pace of break-ins, it became apparent that the burglary wave was the work of a number of different criminals, rather than just the one or two perpetrators who are normally associated with a spike in crime in a small area, he said.
One of the most recent arrests was of 41-year-old Darian Harris, who police say entered a home in the 1400 block of Leonidas through a window and took a laptop and several items of jewelry. He was caught by patrol officers nearby and believed to be responsible for several other burglaries in the area, said Sgt. Warren Keller, leader of the Second District property crimes unit.
Another recent arrest was that of 29-year-old Ryanell Kemp, who broke into a home in the 8300 block of Cohn Street through a back window and stole a laptop, police said. Kemp was seen by a witness who recognized by a witness who identified him by a tattoo on his neck, and he was found riding his bike nearby by police on the scene, Keller said.
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In an unrelated but similar case, police stopped a burglary in progress in the Freret area last week. About 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, a witness in the 4900 block of South Robertson saw a man jump a the fence of a nearby home and attempt to break into the rear window. The responding officers saw the man (later identified as 29-year-old Kendrick L. Parker) inside the house, followed him in and found him trying to hide in a closet, police said.
“This arrest would not have been possible without the immediate actions of the witness that notified the police at the moment they saw something they deemed suspicious,” the news alert states.