Rash of Uptown armed robberies continues with more on Maple, Upperline

Two more armed robberies have been reported this week, continuing a rash of the crimes in various Uptown neighborhoods over the last two weeks. About 10:30 p.m. Monday, a man approached pedestrians near Maple and Lowerline streets with a silver semiautomatic handgun and demanded their wallets, police said. Once they turned the wallet over, he left in the direction of St. Charles Avenue. Around 9 p.m. Wednesday, two people walking their dog in the 1200 block of Upperline were approached by a man armed with a nickel-plated semiautomatic handgun who demanded their money, police said.

Troubled nonprofit’s properties attract Irish Channel’s continued concerns

The Irish Channel Neighborhood Association is continuing its efforts to clean up properties owned by a troubled nonprofit by taking members’ concerns about crime and neglect to the mayor’s office. In July, a home in the 2300 block of Laurel Street owned by Galilee Housing Initiative was the target of a drive-by shooting, the second such incident there, said Irish Channel board member Adolph Lopez at the association’s monthly meeting Thursday night. The neighborhood then compiled a record of all the police calls associated with the address over the past 17 months and compiled it into a letter, and sent it to City Councilwoman Stacy Head for review, Lopez said. Head then read the letter into the record during the city’s budget hearing on blight issues, said board member Ed McGinnis. The next step, he said, should be either an audit of Galilee by the city or an investigation into criminal activity at the property by the district attorney’s office with an eye toward seizing it, McGinnis said.

Gun arrest may be tied to Irish Channel shootout

A man arrested on gun charges during a traffic stop Monday in the Irish Channel may have been part of a shootout a few blocks away last week, police said Thursday. Wayne Mayo, 17, was stopped during the investigation of a near collision Monday at the intersection of Chippewa Street and Washington Avenue, said Sgt. David Liang of the NOPD Sixth District task force. In his vehicle, police found two handguns, a .45-caliber automatic and a 9-mm, so Mayo was booked into jail on a gun charge, Liang said at the Sixth District’s weekly strategy meeting. The 9-mm was missing its magazine, which suggests it may have been used in a gun battle at about 8 p.m. Oct.