Cops and robbers: The latest robbers menacing the Lower Quarter are posing as police officers. And they may be taking advantage of some knowledge of police procedures--they are striking in the 5 to 7 a.m. span when the real police are changing shifts. They struck last Friday at 4:55 a.m. in the 1300 block of Decatur Street and again Sunday at 6 a.m. in the 500 block of Ursulines Street. Last Wednesday they struck at 5 a.m. in the 900 block of Touro Street and then again an hour later at 6 a.m. in the 900 block of Barracks Street.
Only in the most recent robberies did the perpetrators pose as cops. The robbers in the last 3 robberies fit a similar description: in their 20s, one 5'7" tall, the other 5'10" tall, both weighing about 150 pounds, and both (please God, don't make me say "of course") black men. The robber from Touro Street, also black, was described as taller at 6' and heavier at 185.
The most recent armed robberies:
- 1300 block of Decatur Street, Friday, 12.7.07, 4:55 a.m.: 2 white guys, one 19 from Metairie and the other 26 from the CBD, were standing on the sidewalk when they saw a black man stagger toward them as if he was highly intoxicated. As the drunk got to them, he pulled a black semi-automatic pistol from his waistband and ordered the men to put their hands on the car next to them.
Told that the car wasn't theirs, the robber handed back the keys and ordered the victims to lay on the ground with their face down and their palms out. The robber pretended to be talking on a police radio, saying he "had the subjects in custody."
The robber walked toward Esplanade Avenue with the victims' wallets containing about $190. He was described as 25-30 years old, 5'9" tall, weighing 160 pounds, wearing brown sweats, a matching hooded sweatshirt, and a black stocking cap.
- 500 block of Ursulines Street, Sunday, 12.9.07, 6 a.m.: 2 robbers took a 57-year-old Minnesota tourist for all he had. The victim was getting out of his rental car on Ursulines, a couple of car lengths from Chartres Street.
The second robber pushed the victim against a wall and began a systematic search, including the victim's socks. During the search, the robber grabbed the victim's crotch. The victim reacted by pulling his hand off the wall and striking the robber in the head with his elbow. The robber was started and the victim fled in the direction of his hotel in the 600 block of Ursulines.
As he looked back, he saw the robbers flee in his car up Chartres toward Esplanade Avenue where they sideswiped 3 parked vehicles in the 1200 block of Chartres.
In all, the victim lost his rental car (a dark gray, 4-door Chevrolet Impala, LA tag RDU673), his wallet containing $40 in cash, driver's license, 3 credit cards, health insurance cards, AAA card, his cellphone, his personal keys for a desk, car and home, a suit case with his clothing in the car's trunk, and Christmas presents.
The robbers were described as in their 20's, one 5'7" tall, the other 5'10", both weighing 150 pounds, both were wearing dark pants, one with a black T-shirt and the other a white T-shirt.
Another burglary: There was another residential burglary last week in the same vicinity of the mid-Quarter. This one occurred Thursday at 834 Orleans St., following earlier ones on Monday at 916 St. Ann St. and on Tuesday at 1025 1/2 St. Ann St.
Another case closed: We just found out that the new DA Keva Landrum (her last name ought to be "Let'em Go") dropped charges on 11.08.07 of robbery and battery against Billy Gaines, a 22-year-old dreadlocked dude from Algiers--despite an eyewitness account.
A witness told police she saw the suspect standing on the corner with a group of black men and women about 3 a.m. and heard him tell his buddies he was going to punch the approaching victim in the face. The suspect, according to the witness, went up behind the victim in the 900 block of St. Louis Street, punched the man in the head and took his wallet containing $35 and his cellphone.
And still another: On Thursday, we reported we had just learned the DA decided 11.8.07 not to prosecute Gino McDowell for an armed robbery in the French Quarter in June. (We blamed it on Eddie Jordan, but it was actually "Lady Let'em Go" who was reducing her work load.)
"Lady Let'em Go" dropped those charges too. What's the matter? Getting a gun stuck in your face and having your money taken is no longer considered a crime?
Don't forget: The monthly meeting of NONPAC (New Orleans Neighborhood Policing Anti-Crime Council) this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Maison Dupuy Hotel, 1001 Toulouse St. (at Burgundy Street) in the Renoir Room.
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As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome.