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Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
Email: mfarris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @megfarriswwl

NEW ORLEANS Sacred Heart Academy is adding security and warning its students, faculty and support staff to not linger in their cars before entering or departing the school following the carjacking of a staff member Monday during rush hour.

The incident occurred about 5:20 p.m. as a member of the custodial staff waited in her car to come on duty around 6 p.m.

Police said the woman was yanked out of her 2002 Hyundai Sonata and it was stolen, along with her purse, shoes and other belongings that were inside.

'Park in a safe area when you come to school,' advised Liz Manthey, the public relations director for the school. 'Don't linger in your car. Don't text message or read your emails. Just get out, walk in to school and do the same thing when you are departing.'

'We do have one witness in the case,and our detectives are still working the investigations.The
perpetrators are described as black males in their mid 20s. One had like shoulder length
dreadlocks with blond color tips,' said Commander Paul Noel of the NOPD Second District.

Police say carjackings are usually related to drug and gun activity. They don't believe this case is related to others. And theysay armed robberies and carjackings are down in the Uptown area, because they are solving nearly half of them and sending the criminals to the penitentiary.

'The penalty carries up to 99 years in jail and so really the risk-reward for the perpetrator
really makes no sense to me,' added Noel.

The school has alarms, high fences and has now added even more security guards. Its cameras could not pick up this crime.

Neighbors plan to be more vigilant.

'It's surprising. It's still daylight.It's a little unsettling but I've lived uptown the entire
time I've lived in New Orleans and wouldn't live anywhere else. I might just pay a little more attention,' said Dr. Elizabeth Lapeyre who lives nearby.

The license plate of the Sonata is Louisiana WBJ 612.

The students at Sacred Heart have now started afund drive to help the victim. You can contribute by calling the school.

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