With the exception of a trio of attacks by bat-wielding teens, most of the cases do not show clear links to one another, New Orleans police officials said Wednesday. Significant evidence, such as photos or DNA, has been recovered in most of the cases, however, so the investigations are all considered active.
In the most recent case, a visitor in her 60s from out of town was in the 1200 block of Harmony Street (near Camp) around 9:40 a.m. when she noticed a dark-colored sedan nearby, said Sgt. Daniel Scanlan during the weekly meeting of the Sixth District leadership Wednesday. The driver of the sedan got out, pointed a gun at her, and demanded her purse, then got back into the sedan and drove off, Scanlan said.
A witness who saw the car leaving described it as a new black Kia with a temporary license tag in the window and a Ray Brandt dealer plate in the license-plate holder — such a specific description that it should prove a promising lead, Scanlan said.
Wednesday’s robbery comes on the heels of nine other muggings, carjackings and a home invasion in the Garden District and Lower Garden District areas that Sixth District detectives are all investigating as well. They are as follows:
- A woman was robbed at gunpoint by a man just before 3 a.m. Saturday, July 7, at Annunciation and Thalia.
- A man who parked near Clio and Carondelet around 9 p.m. Sunday, July 8 was attacked by two men who punched him, then stole his keys and his white Ford Focus. The car was later found on Calais Street in New Orleans East, Scanlan said, and several items inside are being tested for DNA.
That case may have another lead — a link to a similar carjacking about a month earlier, Lt. Frank Young said at the meeting: Both vehicles were found in the same area, and investigators are waiting to see if the DNA is a match.
- A man walking in the 2500 block of Magazine around 11:15 p.m. July 8, was robbed by two men, one of whom hit him in the head with a gun before they fled in a silver vehicle. Detectives have obtained video of the suspects (seen below) and have been receiving good information on the case, so they are hoping to identify them soon, Scanlan said.
- Three robberies on Clio, Camp and Coliseum streets were all committed around 11 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, by a group of three people who were using a baseball bat, and in one case beat their victim so severely he had to be hospitalized. One of the suspects, Keith Williams, was chased by a witness, caught by police, and identified in all three cases, police said.
Surveillance video in the area shows a second suspect with Williams just before the arrest, Scanlan said. Williams is also suspected in several other robberies of iPhones by “brute force” in the French Quarter and New Orleans East, Young said, and investigators are examining possible accomplices in those cases to determine who man have been with him the night of the Lower Garden District spree.
- confronted by a man with a knife demanding her purse, and she was cut several times as they struggled over it.
Video was obtained in the case, and images were released Thursday morning of a black man in his late 20s or early 30s, about 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds. He is considered armed and dangerous, police officials said.
Late Friday evening, July 12, a 23-year-old woman walking home from work in the 1600 block of Terpsichore
- Around 4:30 a.m. Sunday, July 14, a 29-year-old man in the back parking lot of a home in the 2300 block of Magazine was ordered inside by gunmen who forced him into a closet while they took his belongings. That case also has several leads, Young said, but declined to elaborate on them.
- Around 2 a.m. the same night, a man was walking home from the Warehouse District had reached the 1300 block of Tchoupitoulas when a white Lincoln Navigator pulled up alongside him, Young said. From a rear window, a man asked where he was going, then got out with a gun, poked him with it and ordered him into the car, Young said. A woman was driving the SUV while the gunman and another man went through the victim’s pockets, and they pushed him out of the vehicle shortly afterward, Young said.
The robbery was not reported until around 8 p.m. Tuesday evening, Young said. Detectives have identified several locations along the route of the SUV that may have video, he said.
Anyone with information about any of the above cases is urged to call the NOPD Sixth District detectives at 658-6060 or, to leave an anonymous tip that could be eligible for a cash reward, call CrimeStoppers at 822-1111.
The robberies come after a lull of several months. Over the last year, the entire Sixth District has averaged only one armed robbery per week, crime statistics show, and at the half-year point the district was down 62 percent in armed robberies over the same period in 2012.
“This is so far out of our character,” Sixth District Commander Bob Bardy said of the robberies Wednesday.
While the investigative leads represent the most direct avenue to stopping the robberies, Bardy instructed his platoon lieutenants to examine their patrol officers’ activity. The district was significantly down in vehicle stops and arrests over the past week, which makes no sense when crime is happening, Bardy said. Bardy also noted that there are 15 known people wanted on warrants for various property crimes, and instructed his task force to find and arrest those people.
After the recent wave, the district has seen 31 robberies, still down about 45 percent the 57 recorded by this point in 2012.