Uptown residents wake up to find cars stripped on cinder blocks

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wwltv.com

Posted on March 10, 2014 at 10:34 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 11 at 7:20 AM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- Imagine walking out of your house to discover your car stripped down and on a cinder block, or just gone.

The New Orleans Police Department is looking into brazen Uptown car thefts that happened over the weekend.

"2007, Toyota Highlander, SUV. Nice. Had a little sunroof. I hope I get it back," said Bonnie Williams, reminiscing about her favorite car to date.

The Uptown resident woke up bright and early Monday morning to start her work week. She opened up her front door in the 700 block of Marengo Street only to discover her ride to work missing.

"I came out of my house this morning to go to work. It was about 6:30 a.m. and my car was gone. It's a devastating moment," said Williams, who believes the heist happened between 10:30 p.m. Sunday and sometime Monday morning.

"Both doors were taken off, the wheels were taken off and one of the windshields were broken," said Caitlin Brewster, who lives in the 1000 block of Lyons Street, not far from where her neighbor's SUV was stripped of its parts Saturday morning.

The homeowner who didn't want to go on camera shared photos with Eyewitness News of the theft. According to the victim, the thieves came equipped with power tools, cinder blocks and vaseline to try and make their fingerprints untraceable.

Brewster surveyed the damage the next day and watched as police canvassed the scene.

"I believe it was a targeted incident, I think it was a specific type of GMC Terrain. It was brand new and white. I think they were looking for certain things," said Brewster.

This isn't the first-time vehicles such as SUVs have been stripped of their parts and left on cinder blocks in New Orleans.

Eyewitness News archives show similar cases back in January 2013 in Lakeview. In 2011, victims were targeted in Algiers, River Ridge, Kenner and Mid-City.

"Based on my conversation with Commander Noel of the Second District, right now they're treating it as an isolated incident," said Hope Meyer of the Bouligny Improvement Association.

She said residents have been alerted by some neighborhood associations.

"The people who are doing this. If they're doing it on busy roads with lights and they're going it very quickly. They're getting away with it and that's a very scary prospect," added Meyer.

The NOPD said it's currently investigating at least three incidents of vehicle cinder block thefts in both the Second and Sixth Districts.

If you see anything suspicious call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.

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