By Alyssa Curtis, WWL4

July 25, 2023

The parking lot at the Hilton, near the Riverwalk was a recent target for car burglars. According to the Hilton, they are aware of recent reports of vehicle break ins. Hotel officials tell WWLTV, in a statement, they are working with partners to increase security presence.

Data from the Metropolitan Crime Commission shows there have been 4,339 vehicle burglary reports this year, as of July 23, 2023. The number is down 32% from this time last year.

But Rafael Goyeneche, President of the Metropolitan Crime Commission says that number isn’t an accurate representation, with many going unreported.  

“Keep in mind we have fewer police officers this year than we had at the same point in time last year. And many of the people who’ve been victimized by automobile burglaries this year have been victimized last year and the year before that. The public knows the manpower crisis in the police department, it’s unlikely the police are going to be able to get there in the foreseeable future so many of the people realize there’s no point in even wasting time to report break ins,” he said.

At the end of 2022 and the beginning of this year, there were car break ins during almost every Pelicans game. Now, with football season just around the corner, Goyeneche believes the window smashing will once again increase and worries it’ll start impacting the city economically.

“You know the burglars are looking for where the most target-rich environments are, so we know from past history the automobile burglars are going to target major events, major sporting events,” he said.

In a statement to WWLTV, the Mayor’s office said the city is in partnership with NOPD, public safety agents, as well as the Saints, Pelicans and private lot owners. They say, they’re all working together to improve and ensure safety of residents and visitors.