A quick response from officers and “amazing police work” Wednesday night led to the arrest of three men in Metairie less than two hours after they allegedly tied up and robbed a Garden District couple at gunpoint, New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said in a news conference Thursday afternoon.
The officers of the Sixth District “did what I would classify as some amazing police work,” Serpas said. “Some people were injured and hurt in our community, and these officers did a tremendous job.”
One of the men, 20-year-old Luis Guevara, rang the doorbell at a home in the 1300 block of Sixth Street around 6 p.m. Wednesday and asked to speak to “Bryan,” according to a NOPD report on the incident and remarks by NOPD Sixth District Lt. Frank Young at a news conference on Thursday. The resident who answered the door, a man in his early 70s, said no one by that name was around, and Guevara left, the report states.
Around 20 minutes later, Guevara and two other men — Kevin Aguillar, 23, and Orlyn Izaguirre, 22 — returned to the house and rang the bell again, the report states. The female resident of the house answered this time, and all three forced their way inside, Aguillar brandishing a handgun, the report states.
The trio of invaders then tied the couple’s hands with dog leashes and covered their faces with pillowcases as they began stealing items from the front rooms of the house, the report states. Among the items they took before leaving were two handguns, several iPhones and iPads, and hundreds of dollars in cash, the report states.
“In a matter of minutes, they gathered the valuables and they fled the scene,” Young said.
The victims were able to free themselves quickly and call police, and NOPD Sixth District Detective Sandra Contreras began immediately tracking the stolen electronics, the report states. A NOPD Sixth District task force followed the signal indicated by the devices, and spotted three men matching the suspects’ descriptions getting out of a black Mustang in the 3300 block of Edenborn Avenue in the Fat City area of Metairie around 7:25 p.m., the report states.
“It was an Apple device,” Young said. “It was that simple — we used an app to find it.”
Serpas said many electronic devices are now equipped with tracking capabilities.
“The message is, just quit stealing stuff, because it’s making it easier for us to find you,” Serpas said. “You’re going to get arrested and you’re going to get charged, and we’re going to hope that you do some jail time.”
With the assistance of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, the three men were detained — one of whom still had a gun taken in the burglary — and they were soon afterward identified by the victims, the report states. Izaguirre and Guavara confessed to their roles in the robbery, the report states. Some of the victims’ stolen belongings were found in a duffle bag near a dumpster on Edenborn, and police were still searching the suspects’ vehicle Thursday for more.
All three were charged with two counts each of armed robbery, and one count of aggravated burglary. Aggravated burglary carries a mandatory sentence of between one and 30 years in prison, and armed robbery carries a mandatory charge of 10 to 99 years.
It is possible that one of the suspects did some contracting work in the past, Young said. The couple only moved into the home a few months ago, the victims said in an interview with Uptown Messenger on Thursday morning.
In Thursday’s news conference announcing the arrests, Serpas praised the work of Young, Officer Justin Brown (the first officer on scene), Lt. Anthony Monaco (the platoon supervisor).
“Our district-based officers are doing some amazing work, and I’m very, very proud of what they did,” Serpas said. “It’s very unfortunate that these people suffered this victimization, but I hope there would be some comfort for their loss and pain in the community that we’ve got these people in custody.”