Apr 252014
 

Christopher Tunson (via opcso.org)

Christopher Tunson (via opcso.org)

A rash of Uptown vehicle break-ins has slowed to a trickle since the arrest of a man caught on video in one of the cases, New Orleans police said Friday.

Officers on patrol stopped 23-year-old Christopher Tunson earlier this week on Napoleon Avenue near Freret Street, and saw that he had his sleeves covering his hands — a common tactic of car burglars trying to avoid fingerprints, said NOPD Second District Lt. Doug Eckert at Friday’s departmental meeting of ranking officers.

Tunson was actually walking with another man who took off running when police approached, Eckert said, but investigators were able to identify Tunson from an earlier car-burglary case on Coliseum Street that had been caught on “unbelievably great video,” Eckert said.

Tunson is currently in jail charged with one count of burglary, but detectives are continuing to investigate his involvement with other car break-ins in the area near Napoleon and the river, Eckert said.

“We know he’s responsible for at least four auto burglaries in that area,” Eckert said.

Police are still working to identify the man who was with Tunson at the time of the arrest, as well as a woman with him in the Coliseum Street video, Eckert said. But since Tunson’s arrest, what had been a daily series of burglaries has “completely stopped,” said NOPD Second District Commander Paul Noel.

Noel said that the private surveillance camera footage played a crucial role in the Tunson’s apprehension, and encouraged residents to look into either the ProjectNOLA system or the new SafeCam NOLA network.

“It’s really helping us solve cases,” Noel said. “It’s just adding to the cases where I can say, we would have solved it without the cameras.”

Meanwhile, Eckert said the majority of the auto break-ins continue to be vehicles that are unlocked, many with people’s belongings in plain sight. Some people say they leave their cars open so their windows won’t get smashed, but very few of the burglaries involve broken windows, he said — they are primarily just people walking down quiet streets, checking for open car doors.

“We’re begging people to lock their doors,” Eckert said. “Take your valuable out and lock your doors.”

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  • Heather

    Is this article insinuating that the police department collects fingerprints from a car that was broken into? Yeah right….I live uptown and my boyfriend’s truck was stolen in front of our house. He called the police and they came out to file a report and obviously they could not take fingerprints off of a car that was not there. BUT 11 days later his insurance company told him that they found his truck in Gretna. He called the police department for 2 days before anyone could tell him where his truck was. He met his insurance adjuster at the tow yard then it was towed to a shop where the $17,000 worth of damage was repaired. When he picked up his truck about a month later he noticed his middle console was filled with items that were left in the truck. The items included a foreign hairbrush, a bandanna, a fake rose and an ID card most likely belonging to the thief or his friend. He contacted both companies asking if they had anyone by that name working there and they did not. You would think, wow! this guy is actually going to get caught. I watch enough CSI to know that he pretty much hit the evidence jackpot. He contacted the police department and was told that the evidence was not relevant to the case because the police did not investigate the truck when it was found….the police are the ones that found it!!!

    I have heard from many people that he should sue the police department for negligence. That is not what he wants, he wants that guy to be held accountable for his disregard for the law! This is what is wrong with the system. This person was not intelligent enough to make sure he did not leave a government issued ID card with his address and picture in a vehicle he stole and absolutely nothing is going to happen to him. Oh, don’t be ridiculous you know it was not a license. I know that I am never going to need a cab ever again. I am just going to start stealing cars when I need one. It’s a win win it will save me money and apparently there are no consequences.

  • Gregory S. Marsiglia

    What kind of camera system produced “unbelievably great video”?

    • ILikeMokum

      Probably High Definition cameras (getting cheaper and cheaper).