Investigators are looking for a black Hyundai Sonata that was taken in an armed carjacking Monday afternoon behind the Academy of the Sacred Heart, New Orleans police said.
The victim, a woman in her 30s, had parked at the corner of Carondelet and Cadiz streets around 5:20 p.m. Monday (Aug. 25) when she was approached by two men, one of whom was carrying a silver handgun, said NOPD Commander Paul Noel in a brief news conference Tuesday afternoon. The men “removed her from the vehicle,” then drove off in it, Noel said.
The car — a black 2002 Hyundai Sonata with Louisiana license plate WBJ612 — has yet to be found by detectives, Noel said. Both of the attackers were black men who appeared in their 20s, Noel said, and the most distinctive feature of one was shoulder-length dreadlocks with blond tips, he said.
The victim, a custodian at the Academy of Sacred Heart about to begin her shift, was unharmed but “shaken up,” school officials told The Times-Picayune, adding that they notified families about the incident.
Noel said detectives do not currently believe the case is related to any other recent robberies. He noted that the Second District has seen relatively few carjackings so far this year, and that he expects this one to be solved.
“Our detectives are working very hard on this case,” Noel said. “Over the last two years, detectives in this district have solved about one out of every two of our armed robberies. The message that we want to send to these criminals is, ‘We’re going to capture you, and we’re going to send you to the penitentiary.'”
Often, carjackings and robberies are committed by the same people involved in the drug and gun crimes, Noel said, though he couldn’t speak to the circumstances in Monday’s case. Most vehicles taken in carjackings are simply “dumped” in another part of town a few days later, so the carjackers get little value out of them — similar to the relatively small amounts of cash that armed robbers taken on average from their victims, Noel said. But the penalty for armed robbery is a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 99 years in prison.
“The risk-reward for the perpetrator makes no sense to me,” Noel said.
Noel urged residents to continue to be vigilant, and to make sure their car doors and houses are locked.
Anyone with information about the carjacking is urged to call the NOPD Second District station at 658-6020 to speak to a detective, or to call CrimeStoppers at 822-1111 to leave an anonymous tip that could be eligible for a cash reward.