NOPD investigating string of armed robberies, some targeting restaurant patrons

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 22, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Updated Saturday, Jun 23 at 12:08 PM

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

Police are investigating four armed robberies that unfolded during a two-day period Uptown and in Central City. In some cases, the crimes happened while patrons left popular restaurants near St. Charles Avenue and Magazine Street.

"We were crossing Chestnut and we heard whistling and we turned around and there was a man with a gun, arms fully extended -holding the gun with two hands,” said Chelsea. Eyewitness News is only using her first name and hiding her identity because she is a victim.

The Uptown woman was walking home Tuesday night with a friend in the 1200 block of St. Andrew Street. The duo had just left Slice Pizzeria on St. Charles when they were approached by a gunman. He didn't say a word while the women turned over their bags.

"I was scared,” Chelsea said. “I was really, really scared and it seemed to last for a very long time. I'm sure it was just moments and then I realized that he was backing away and wasn't being aggressive anymore.”

The next night, NOPD said a woman leaving Juan's Flying Burrito on Magazine around 10 p.m. got into her car near the intersection of Camp and Josephine streets. Police said a gunman, wearing a white cloth over his face, robbed her. The crime does not sit well with Will Crocker, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1986.

"It’s definitely disappointing to hear that somebody had that problem,” Crocker said. “But (I) hope they'll come back to our neighborhood because that is not a regular occurrence from my experience.”

Police also are investigating an armed robbery that happened around 10:30 p.m. at a park near Felicity and South Robertson streets on Wednesday night. Police say basketball players were robbed by a gunman.

And then on Tuesday night, NOPD said an attempted armed robbery went down in the 3200 block of Jackson Avenue. A man was outside talking to friends when a robber riding a bicycle pulled out a gun but the victims ran from the scene.

NOPD Sixth District Commander Bob Bardy said all four cases are being investigated. But he is especially concerned about patrons being targeted while leaving popular restaurants.

"We hope the public will continue to support our area restaurants but we do encourage people to use a degree of vigilance here," Bardy said.

Vigilance that one Uptown woman is now taking to heart.

"When we go out past dark, we've been biking because we think that will be safer and we've been going down very lit streets," said Chelsea.

Police don't believe that the four cases are connected because the description of the gunmen and the locations of the robberies all vary in the Sixth District. If you know anything that can help police, call Crimestoppers at 822-1111. Remember you do not have to leave your name.
 

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