Jul 112012
 

NOPD detectives and officers respond to a robbery on Spruce Street on Monday night. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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.

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  • Ashton O’Dwyer

    Pardon me for being obtuse, but I have a few questions: The perpetrators now have at least 3 cell phones taken from victims that we know of: one (1) in the carjacking on Audubon Street on Friday night, and two (2) taken (one each) from the husband and wife on Spruce Street last night. I thought that cell phones could be “tracked”, depending on the type of hardware or software installed. Indeed, I specifically recall some CRIMINALS who were apprehended in this Metropolitan Area by “tracking” stolen cell phones to where they slept at night, had their clothes washed, took their meals, etc. – ALL COURTESY OF MA-MA, or “AUNTIE”, or SISTER OR GIRLFRIEND, all of whom were living off “He’s a good boy” life of CRIME. Why hasn’t the NOPD tracked these FELONIOUS CRIMINALS to their lairs? Then we have Tulane, which saves $100,000 million annually by PAYING NO PROPERTY TAXES, paying for four (4) NOPD Officers on “Special Detail” to deal with this crisis Uptown. Should Tulane be paying for 40 Special Detail NOPD Officers, rather than four (4), or is the “message” to Uptown Residents: Look, we did OUR part, now YOU have to do your part by hiring additional NOPD Officers to serve on Special Detail in Uptown New Orleans? I’m “confused” by the largesse of an institution which avoids the payment of $100,000 in property taxes annually paying for four (4) Special Detail NOPD Officers during the Summer, when enrollment is decidedly DOWN. Shouldn’t Tulane poney-up for an additional 40 Special Detail NOPD Officers, at least? Lastly, I am “fed up” with the Mayor and with his Superintendent of Police. Whatever their “crime-fighting strategy” may be, IT AIN’T WORKING. If the three (3) urban terrorists who have been terrorizing Uptown since Friday night can’t be brought to heel through “conventional police work” ( I doubt that there are sufficient numbers of NOPD Officers working Uptown to engege in “conventional police work” – and in any event, THIS IS A CRISIS OR AN EMERGENCY), then the NOPD is going to have to institute a constitutional “Search and Frisk” policy, and SOONER rather than later. Ashton O’Dwyer. P.S. I wonder what working “crime cameras” would have done and told us on Friday night on Audubon Street, on Monday night on Maple and Nelson Streets, and last night on Spruce Street. AROD.

    • Zimpelton

      Ashton, I wholeheartedly agree that Tulane gets too easy a ride on the tax-bearer’s dime. It needs to become more involved (read: $$) in attacking the crime problem in the area. Here I wish the neighborhood associations would find a better mission than raising loud hackles about college bars and stadium parking, stop being adversarial, and get Tulane to understand that being more involved about the tougher issue of crime is in its own interest and not just the neighborhood’s.

      In the end, however, the area can’t rely on just a constant police presence to make its streets safe. Streets become safe when they’re populated by decent people, and the neighborhood associations, despite what good they intend, have been an obstacle for achieving that. Regulations be damned, does anyone’s family sleep better at night thanks to MARI (et al) focusing so much of its attention on shutting down the nearby cute little Japanese cafe and forcing the friendly neighborhood restaurants to go dark by bedtime?

    • Fat Harry

      Wait a minute. So you would rather Tulane pay the $100,000 to the same City that got us in this jam? Then Tulane would be out $100,000, and instead of 4 police there would be zero. But a politician’s nephew would make a nice living.

  • shatney

    The city of NEW ORLEANS will win the war on crime and lock up the criminal’s…….

  • Guest
  • Zimpelton

    ksvb3, Your bizarre personal slight aside, “… be damned” is usually understood to be a figure of speech. It’s little surprise to me, however, that it’s being taken in such as literal and alarmist fashion by someone who called for federal troops to be garrisoned in our city to, what?, control the street crime problem (!). I seriously hope that enough of us in New Orleans find that objectionable on fundamental Constitutional grounds alone.

  • Zimpelton

    Maple, As I said earlier, I was a member of MARI. For your benefit it’s worth considering that the turnout at your meetings are so low because your membership is so low, and membership is so low because expectations are so low.

  • Donald Waits

    Holy Moley, I just posted a comment on my old neighborhood, Spruce Street, and what I saw
    when I revisited the area some time ago.