Around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, a woman was stopped at the red light at Nashville Avenue and St. Charles Avenue when her red Hyundai Elantra was hit from behind by a silver vehicle, according to a NOPD news release.
“The victim stepped out of her vehicle to inspect the damage and two of the suspects exited the rear of the silver vehicle and jumped into her red four-door Hyundai Elantra and drove off, followed by the remaining two suspects in the silver vehicle,” the report states. “They were last seen on St. Charles heading toward Napoleon Avenue.”
Wednesday’s carjacking follows almost exactly a similar incident 24 hours earlier. In that case, a Tulane student was stopped at the light at Nashville and South Claiborne around 2 a.m. Tuesday when her vehicle was rear-ended by a gray four-door vehicle with three people inside, police said at the time.
“Two of the suspects exited the vehicle, spoke with the victim for a moment then one of the males jumped into the victim’s vehicle and drove off,” the report in that case stated. “The second suspect returned to his vehicle and followed the victim’s vehicle down South Claiborne toward Calhoun Street and then disappeared.”
Tuesday morning’s carjacking prompted a brief news conference by NOPD Commander Shaun Ferguson outside the Second District station that afternoon. No video had been found of the first case, Ferguson said, but the woman’s car was found in the 5600 block of Royal Street.
Detectives are investigating these incidents in connection with a rash of armed robberies across the city, including an armed robbery on Adams Street early Monday, Ferguson said.
“Across the city we have a series of armed robberies or armed carjackings,” Ferguson said. “Our lieutenants have met with one another and formed a meeting among the detectives themselves to confirm whether these are all related.”
Meanwhile, Drivers, especially women, should avoid traveling alone overnight, Ferguson said.
“A female is more likely to be targeted overnight like that,” Ferguson said. “I would suggest that any female do not travel alone overnight by yourself. If you absolutely have to, stay on the phone with someone, let them know what is you’re doing and where you’re going. Keep them abreast of your whereabouts as you’re traveling.”
If you are in a minor automobile accident and don’t feel comfortable with your surroundings, immediately call 911 before getting out, and even signal the other driver to move to a safer location where there are witnesses, Ferguson continued. A police officer should be able to meet you there as well, he said.
“Should you be rear-ended for some unforeseen reason, if you do not feel comfortable where you are, continue to a more well-populated, well-lit area in which you feel you’re in more of a safe haven and you can then communicate to that driver,” Ferguson said. “If you have to stick your hand out the window and instruct them to follow you in the direction you’re going, I’d also suggest you do that.”