NEW ORLEANS – For many of us, they’re among our most valuable possession. But on average, nearly 200 vehicles have been reported stolen every month in New Orleans for the last six months.
Along the I-10 Service Road near Bullard Avenue, five vehicles were reported stolen or attempted stolen in the last two weeks.
“It's a tragedy,” said Marlowe McGraw- Mid-City, who works in New Orleans East. “There's a lot of hardworking people in the area, and you hope to hang onto your goods.”
More than 25 percent of the vehicles reported stolen in the last two weeks have been in New Orleans East, according to crimemapping.com. But it's not just a problem in the East.
In the last two weeks, 94 vehicles have been reported stolen throughout the city. More than 800 vehicles have been reported stolen in New Orleans since August.
Still, police say auto thefts are down slightly compared to this time last year in New Orleans East.
How can you protect yourself? It could be as simple as locking your doors and parking in well-lit areas, if you can. If you want to step up security, police suggest arming your car with a GPS tracking system like OnStar or LoJack.
“Wherever the car is, you can go on the computer and the LoJack person can find wherever that vehicle is. In some cases it can even be shut down,” said Frank Robertson, a New Orleans Police Department spokesman. “That helps us tremendously.”
“I think that people should watch their surroundings before they get out of their cars and lock their cars. I thank God for OnStar. If someone steals my car they won't be able to drive it,” said Lubertha Mcleod, a New Orleans East resident.
Police say nearly half the vehicles reported stolen are inoperable or disabled. Police say that's because salvage yards sometimes buy auto parts with no questions asked, and many of those businesses happen to be in New Orleans East.
So far this year, the 7th District, which covers New Orleans East, has made 27 auto theft arrests.
If you have any information that could help police find recent culprits, call Crimestoppers at 822-1111.