METAIRIE, La. - Residents in several Metairie neighborhoods are on high alert after multiple reports of car break-ins. In most cases, the cars are left unlocked, allowing the suspects to take whatever they want from inside the vehicle.
A few residents say it's not the first time something like this has happened, but that everyone in the area is on high alert, especially after what happened a few years ago when a father and son were shot and killed by two teenagers initially in the area to burglarize cars.
People who've accidently left their cars unlocked along four Metairie streets, have recently woken up to a surprise.
"It seems to be in the middle of the night," said resident Todd Becnel. "Our next door neighbor woke up on morning and found the change in her cup holder was missing."
"Sometimes you're rushed," said resident Maryann Norvell. "You also feel safe in your neighborhood, at least you want to feel safe. You don't think about someone coming in and breaking into your car. My husband said that he noticed someone had gone through his glove box because he forgot to lock his car.”
The incidents have happened along four neighboring streets: Tolmas, North Labarre, Clifford and Metairie Heights.
“Unfortunately someone had a gun in the glove department and someone got a knife," said Norvell. "That's pretty scary."
Also, with 12 incidents in 48-hours, residents say that adds to the worry.
“I was never concerned about the safety of the neighborhood," said resident, Olivia Davia-Toth. "But now I have to look all over before I park in my house and be sure that everything is okay.”
These incidents happen all over the area not just in these neighborhoods. So the best thing to do is to not just lock your car, but check to make sure nobody can get inside.
“Lock your car doors, lock your house, be very careful," said Davia-Toth.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office is looking for whoever is getting into the cars, but until they're caught neighbors say they worry about what could happen next.
"I'm a pretty optimistic person, and I hope they catch the kids or whoever is in the neighborhood doing it," said Norvell.
“Of course there’s worry," said Becnel. "You never know what it escalates too. It’s small stuff now, but who knows what goes on from there.”
If you see someone suspicious, you're encouraged to report it immediately. Also, if you have surveillance video, that you believe shows the suspects or something suspicious, you can e-mail that to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office. You can send an e-mail to the attention of Captain Dax Russo at burglary@JPSO.com.