...and how many more to go?: Lt. Eddie Selby's detectives hauled in one of the teenage robbers last Friday, just one day after beefing up daylight patrols in the Marigny Triangle to curb the rash of robberies by juveniles there. Only Marshan Bowden, charged with first-degree robbery and simple robbery, is not a juvenile. (He must have forgotten he had a birthday just 12 days before the crime he's charged with. Welcome to the big time little man!)
Now 11-year-olds?: We have more details on an armed robbery that happened last Tuesday (11.6.07) morning about 8:20 a.m. in the Triangle. A 29-year-old white woman who lives in the 900 block of Dauphine Street was robbed just as she was about to enter her car which was parked in the 1400 block of Dauphine, just off Esplanade Avenue.
A second black youth came around from the back of the car and grabbed the woman's purse; in the ensuing tug-of-war, the contents of the purse spilled to the ground. The 2 young punks fled up Kerlerec Street with the victim and 2 neighbors--one reported armed with a shotgun--in pursuit. The victim managed to retrieve her ID, credit cards, $50 cash and a check for $2,700; the thieves made off with the purse which still contained a pepper grinder, manicure set, and contact lens case.
The victim described one of her assailants as "a kid, not even a teenager," and estimated his age as 11 years old. He was 5'3" tall, slim with a medium complexion, a short, tight afro haircut, and wore a light-colored, possibly white, T-shirt and jeans. The other perpetrator was described as 15 years old, 5'7" to 5'8"tall, very thin, wearing a T-shirt, jeans, and a red baseball cap.
Reporting streetlights out: Ambushed by queries about burned-out streetlights at last month's NONPAC meeting, Mary Cunningham of Councilman James Carter's office launched a preemptive strike at this month's meeting. Before the meeting got rolling, she outlined he procedure for reporting streetlight problems:
- Call the city at 658-2299;
- Give the exact location of the light, preferably the street address it is in front of, the pole number, and the nearest cross street;
- You will be given a reference number for future inquiries about the same problem;
- The Department of Public Works will send out someone to inspect the problem and repairs should be completed in 6-8 weeks.)
And many "thefts" are reported by tourists exiting a bar too inebriated to find their vehicle. "I guess that's a blessing in disguise--if you're that drunk you shouldn't be finding your car," the captain said.
Capt. Hosli invited Peter Perrien, a former NOPD officer now with the LoJack Corp., to the NONPAC meeting to talk about ways to thwart auto thieves. He explained that a car thief armed only with a screwdriver could steal most any car in a matter of minutes; and within an hour and half of stealing it, the thief could change the VIN numbers to deter identifying it.
Calling 911 if you see someone lurking suspiciously around cars in your neighborhood is the first defense. He cautioned also to be aware of tow trucks without a company insignia on the door--they are often used to steal a car under the guise of a tow job.
Among the things you can do (as outlined in a pamphlet he made available):
- Never leave leave a spare key in or on your vehicle;
- Close and lock all windows and doors;
- Park in a well-lit area;
- When at home, keep your vehicle in your garage;
- Don't leave valuables in your vehicle, especially where they can be seen;
- Never, ever leave the area while your car is running.
- An audible device like an alarm may be enough to scare off the amateur thief or make the professional choose another target;
- A visible device like a steering wheel lock (such as The Club), theft deterrent decal or window etching.
- Install a smart key or fuel cut-off device;
- A kill switch or starter, ignition and fuel disabler.
LoJack is a small wireless transmitter that, when your car is reported stolen, is activated and immediately indicates the location of the vehicle. Perhaps a little pricey at $695, it's a one-time fee and it stays with the vehicle for life. There are also LoJack devices for motorcycles, construction equipment and laptop computers. Capt. Hosli reported solving a recent case by tracking a laptop equipped with LoJack.
For more information, you can contact Peter Perrien at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speaking of hot cars: You might have noticed the annual parade of Ferraris through the French Quarter was not as noisy as usual this year. Capt. Hosli interspersed a patrol car between every 3 Ferraris to slow them down. In past years, their parade through the Quarter often resembled a European road race, with the cars revving their high-powered engines and accelerating rapidly; this year, the slowed-down cars were over-heating.