NOPD’s First District is teaming up with Fifth District officers to reduce the number of robberies around the city, especially in the areas of Elysian Fields Avenue, North Broad Street and Orleans Avenue. Many of the same people accused of robberies in the Fifth District are the same suspects in First District crimes, said Sgt. Gary Lewis.
Teaming up will help remove perpetual offenders off the streets and reduce the total number of armed robberies for both districts, Lewis said.
“We’re getting the same people, so we’ll be working in conjunction with them,” Lewis told First District officials at their weekly debriefing.
First District officers responded to three robberies last week – including one where the victim was repeatedly assaulted – and one armed robbery. The week before, there were two reported armed robberies and one robbery. The Mid-City Security District responded to two simple robberies, two rapes and a murder in the district in May.
In January, Hans Ganthier said his focus during his second year as First District Commander would include armed robberies. There were a total of 14 armed robberies around Mid-City in 2016, which is about 27 percent down from the year before, according to NOPD numbers. There were 14 simple robberies within the same timeframe.
Last week, police responded to the 2600 block of Esplanade Avenue after a man was hit multiple times with rocks and robbed of his wallet. The victim – who was “extremely intoxicated” – was attacked by a man who hit him twice with a rock until he fell down, Lewis said. Once the victim was on the ground, the suspect hit the victim two more times, stole his wallet and hit him one more time before fleeing.
“From the looks of it, the perpetrator and victim had to know each other,” Lewis said.
Officers interviewed witnesses and are working to get surveillance footage of the incident, but Lewis said it was difficult to “get anything” from the victim – mostly because of his injuries, but also due to his intoxication.
Officers responded to two more robberies and an armed robbery last week where three victims were robbed of their backpacks after visiting a friend’s house. Police are close to closing that case, Lewis said, and may connect two other armed robberies to the same suspects.
The district’s special project is scheduled to last a week, but Ganthier said it’ll be ongoing throughout the city until it’s no longer needed.
First District officials also responded to a purse snatching, two aggravated shootings and two aggravated cuttings last week.