NEW ORLEANS -- “What's happened to my car?”
It’s a question Diane Blanche asked Wednesday, after spending nearly eight hours at Orleans Parish Criminal Court for jury duty.
"We were dismissed at 4:30 (p.m.) and went to get in my car to leave, and all of a sudden, there were only three wheels on my car," Blanche said.
Someone had stolen a wheel off of her car, and tried to take one from another juror’s vehicle, but left with some all-important parts instead.
The cars were parked in designated jury parking lot at the corner of Broad and Gravier, directly across the street from NOPD headquarters.
"It was brazen, in the middle of the day, because I left at 4:30, it was bright daylight, and it was a big, out in the open parking lot, and right across from the jail and the courthouse and all the policemen there and big signs that say NOPD," Blanche said.
Others parking in the lot Thursday, seemed just as baffled by the situation.
"You would never expect that would happen, OK. Suppose you left other valuables. But your tires are very valuable, because how are you going to get home, OK? Like me. I'm in a rush to get home. But that is awful," said Jean Smith.
Blanche said criminal court officials called to apologize and help her file a claim. She said the lot’s operator, Standard Parking, also reached out.
Still, Blanche said the theft caused a frustrating end to an already long day.
"It's your civic duty to do that and so I guess I felt like I was supposed to be taken care of, secure, in a parking lot that they give us," she said. "I think it needs to be more secure, yes, monitored, or maybe security cameras. That would help."
An official with Orleans Criminal Court acknowledged the situation Thursday, but didn't get back to WWL-TV with a response.