NEW ORLEANS -- A neighborhood is on alert after an elderly woman was robbed inside her home. Police say the woman was caught off-guard after her assailant pretended to be working for a local charity.
"She's a very peaceful lady, she doesn't bother nobody and for someone to pull that off on her they should be punished," said neighbor Gerard Demery.
Sitting on the victim's lawn sits a "Thou Shalt Not Kill" sign. On Ash Wednesday police say a man came knocking on the victim's Central City door in the morning in the 2400 block of South Tonti.
"She had recalled that she recently registered for elder assistance and she asked the gentleman if he was in fact from the charitable organization to which he responded yes. He entered the house, had a soft-drink with her," said Lt. Frank Young with NOPD's Sixth District Police Station.
Police say after that initial exchange the man left with the woman's number. He called to say he had to return again to survey her house.
"Later when he returned she allowed him into the house, pushed her down on the bed, and he stole her wallet," said Lt. Young. According to NOPD, the woman locked herself in a bedroom, called 911 and then her daughter who is a police officer for help -- who called for assistance. Young says detectives collected forensic evidence and some leads at the scene.
"Its a real sad situation that we have to have this type of violence in our neighborhood like this," said Demery.
The New Orleans man says it is upsetting to hear that someone would target an elderly woman in a neighborhood where residents look out for each other.
"I keep my side door open in case I hear anything that is out here. Like I said, a victim of violence it can happen anywhere even in a good neighborhood," said Demery.
Police say the woman described her attacker as an African-American man; approximately 50-years-old. He was wearing a brown jacket, beige pants, white tennis shoes and a brown baseball cap.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.