NEW ORLEANS - A brazen armed robbery near a busy corner Uptown raises a number of questions for the public and New Orleans’ Police Chief. Four students were robbed Sunday night near the intersection of Magazine Street and Louisiana Avenue.
Quick police work led them to nab all four suspects. The two boys suspected of holding up the students were 14 and 15 years old.
The robbery happened near the Big Blue corner store where a steady flow of musicians come to get their gear.
The New Orleans Music Exchange is right next to the scene of the crime.
“It seems, if you're gonna make your living holding people up, you know how to do it. You maybe know how to isolate people who are going into their house at 8:30 at night, at 9 at night, not looking over their shoulder,” said Jimmy Glickman, Owner of the Music Exchange.
According to court records the 14 and 15-year-old demanded the four victims' purses and wallets at gunpoint Sunday evening just before 8:30 p.m. In the incident report, police said one of the victims started screaming, then the boys jumped into a black Mazda sedan nearby with 20-year-old Devante Claiborne and 29-year-old Devan Stevens inside.
An officer on patrol spotted a car matching the description of the robbers’ getaway car in the neighborhood, and pulled it over for a traffic stop near Claiborne Avenue.
“What the hell were they doing with these older guys riding around looking for people to rob? Where is their support network? Where is their people telling them this isn't what you should be doing,” asked New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas.
In the report, police said they found the gun and the victim's purse in the car, her $26 was in the pocket of one of the juvenile suspects.
It happened near one of the busiest stretches of Magazine Street and that's what made this particular armed robbery so scary. It's an area where people don't typically expect to be in danger.
“It's usually off in a neighborhood where it's not so busy and dark,” said Kendrick Thompson, a Kenner resident who was shopping with three friends on Magazine Street Tuesday.
Even more surprising, it was 8:00 p.m. on a Sunday when that stretch of Magazine Street is bustling. Glickman's store is closed.
“We're used to hearing about it, but this close to home is kind of alarming,” he said.
Claiborne and Stevens are both facing charges of being a principal to armed robbery.