Spate of armed robberies near Magazine has area on alarm

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wwltv.com

Posted on November 25, 2013 at 11:24 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 11:40 PM

Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
Email: mhernandez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mhernandezwwl

NEW ORLEANS – William Kufta is taking steps to make his neighborhood safer after his neighbor was robbed at gunpoint Tuesday night, carrying groceries to her home.

“Where it did take place, it was the darkest part of the street,” said Kufta.

Kufta said the robber hid behind a pod in front of a vacant home for sale in the 900 block of Third Street, just blocks off Magazine Street.

“Crime has not really been a problem, so this is a bit of a jolt of reality at this point,” he said.

That's why Kufta and his wife had Entergy install a new street light in front of their home Monday for a monthly fee. And they're asking that the pod be moved.

“We have family that's in and out of here all the time, young children, so that is just one of the steps you take,” said Kufta.

But that's not the only crime that's happened in the area.

It’s one of four armed robberies or attempted armed robberies on or near Magazine Street, a bustling commercial corridor, since last month.

A man tried to rob a worker unloading a delivery truck in front of Breaux Mart on Magazine around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, said police. The suspect asked the worker for the time, then showed a gun on his waistband and demanded the truck’s keys.

“Early in the morning, that makes me a little scared to just come to the store,” said Destiny Winfield, who lives nearby.

The suspect, who was caught on surveillance camera, is described as a 6 foot tall, 200 pound black male with a beard. He was wearing black sunglasses, a black knit cap, and a black and gold sweater at the time.

Last month, an armed robbery inside Byblos restaurant across from Breaux Mart had several nearby businesses on lockdown. Police are still analyzing DNA evidence from the scene.

About a mile away, on Magazine Street near St. Andrew, a man pushed a woman against a dumpster around 12:30 am Nov. 10, said police. The woman thought the suspect was reaching for a gun, and gave up her purse.

The scene is one block from where a man tried to force a woman into his black SUV at gunpoint earlier this month.

Even with the recent crimes, police say armed robberies in the 6th district are down 25 percent compared to this time last year.

“Our officers continue to collect information, review surveillance video and, in some cases, retrieve DNA to identify suspects,” said NOPD spokeswoman Remi Braden.

If you have any information that could help police, call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

This story was developed with our partners at Uptown Messenger.

 

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