By Natasha Robin | WVUE | September 7, 2022
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Since Monday (Sept. 5), seven carjackings unfolded across New Orleans.
“This city is like the wild wild west,” says Richard Launey.
One of the latest incidents happened in the 3000 block of St. Claude Avenue where police say a carjacker pulled a victim out of his vehicle and took off.
“A lot of people are coming and going, so I guess this could be an area where they think they can commit crime and get away with it,” says Launey.
Over the Labor Day weekend, police investigated five carjackings.
“Three of them, within an hour and half of each other, all in the second district and within a few blocks of each other, which would suggest that it’s the same group of carjackers,” says Goyeneche.
In two cases, there were children in the backseat of the vehicle.
In one incident, the suspect saw the kids and took off. In another incident, the carjacker demanded the kids get out of the car and then he took off in the vehicle.
“So, what we’ve seen is a 211 percent increase of carjackings in this city since 2019, and this year, it’s up 12 percent,” says Goyeneche.
Rafael Goyeneche of the Metropolitan Crime Commission says in the last two weeks there’s been a surge in carjackings. He believes the offenders realize that NOPD manpower is critically low and they aren’t afraid of getting caught or prosecuted.
People who live in crime hot spots say they remain vigilant, but it’s tough to avoid becoming a victim.
“Go outside when there’s more people around, but that doesn’t seem to help with carjackings. They do it in the middle of the day,” says Launey.
“I think what’s happening right now is political leadership has heard the public,” says Goyeneche.
Goyenche says the public’s outcry to stop crime is forcing political leaders to take action from the use of technology to hiring consultants to find new strategies.
“I think what we are seeing right now is the public awaking to the fact that they have the power,” says Goyeneche.