A couple was held up at gunpoint by a group of men Tuesday night in front of their Spruce Street home in a robbery that bears several similarities to two cases reported nearby the night before, authorities said.
Around 11 p.m., a man was washing his car in front of his home in the 7700 block of Spruce when a stranger ran up demanding his belongings, and a friend wearing a white hoodie and a blue bandana over his face sidled up next to him and showed a gun, the victim said. They wanted the keys to the car, he said, but he said he hadn’t brought them out with him, and they grabbed his phone instead, he said.
A woman who lives at the house was just getting off of work and walked up, and a third assailant emerged, grabbed her phone, and all three fled together down Adams Street toward the river, the victim said.
Tuesday’s robbery occurred almost midway between two that were reported Monday night at opposite ends of Adams Street — one on Maple, and one on Nelson., and investigating officers say there is a “strong possibility” that some of the same suspects may have been involved. The gun was described differently between the Monday and Tuesday night cases, but the bandana around the gunman’s face was consistent both nights — as was the emphasis on trying to take the car.
In Monday’s Nelson Street case, the victim was robbed of a silver Toyota Camry that has not yet been recovered, and police believe the suspects in the Maple Street case may have been targeting the victim’s car as well. On Spruce Street on Tuesday, the female victim had a purse that the robbers did not even try to take, detectives noted.
After the robbery, the man went back to washing his car. He’s never been mugged before, he said, and while the experience didn’t yet seem real, it also didn’t come as a surprise.
“It could have been much worse,” the man said. “What are you going to do? It seems almost casual for this to happen at this point here — just waiting on when it’s going to be my turn.”
The robbery call quickly drew a number of officers to the scene, including NOPD Quality-of-Life Officer Wilfred Eddington, who is part of a contingent of four NOPD officers hired by Tulane to perform extra patrols in the neighborhood between Nashville and Carrollton avenues. Eddington said the area is saturated in police officers right now because of the robberies — four Tulane officers plus the four NOPD detail officers, plus Second District task-force officers and detectives on extra patrols looking for suspects in the current rash of robberies.