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9 carjacked at gunpoint over violent New Orleans weekend

New Orleans carjacking plague neighborhoods
New Orleans carjacking plague neighborhoods(rob masson)
Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 3:39 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 17, 2022 at 4:20 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans police responded to several violent carjackings over the weekend, prompting residents to call for action.

In total, nine people had their cars stolen at gunpoint.

Police are investigating two carjackings and one attempted carjacking within a three-hour span Sunday night. The first instance happened just before 7 p.m. in the 1800 block of Spain Street beginning in the 1800 block of Spain Street.

Police say two males approached the driver’s side of a Ford Escape and stole it at gunpoint. Last year, one neighbor says two men with AK-47s stole his vehicle in the same block.

“They punched me in the back and they told me they would kill me if I didn’t give them the car,” said the victim.

One hour after the Spain Street carjacking, carjackers struck twice on Downman Road; once at the intersection of Downman and Hayne, then again 45 minutes later in the 7200 block of Downman.

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Residents say the carjackings are out of hand and are calling for the police department to get creative.

“Set up some sting operations, have people drive around, give them an opportunity to take stuff and let it be a sting,” said the victim.

Last Thursday, seven drivers were carjacked in a 14-hour span across the city.

Video surveillance captured a carjacker beating a man in the Marigny on Jan. 10.

On this Martin Luther King holiday, administrators at the MLK Charter School are trying to get creative too.

“The more they can see police officers walking to the campus here to help them, the better off we will be in the city,” said MLK principal Dr. Lindsey Moore.

School administrators are now establishing a criminal justice academy, in partnership with the NOPD and Suno, to educate kids about job opportunities and show them alternatives to crime.

“It’s huge, I think this is something that the legacy of Dr. King stood for... to see that criminal justice is done for all people,” said Rev. Willie Calhoun, with the Lower 9 Economic Development District.

Program supporters say the city currently has a huge crime problem and they are hoping that the partnership will help the MLK criminal justice academy achieve its goal. The program launches in February.

As of Monday, no arrests have been made in the most recent carjackings.

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