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13-year-old on ankle monitor, armed with gun arrested for rash of car thefts, burglaries with other young teens

“It looked like the gun was bigger than he was."

NEW ORLEANS — A pair of young teenagers, one not even old enough to have a driver’s license, was arrested in New Orleans for a series of car thefts and burglaries.

One of the suspects, a 13-year-old, was on an ankle monitor and had a gun when police arrived Friday morning to arrest him.

New Orleans Police, including the department’s Violent Offender Warrant Squad, converged on a small apartment in Hollygrove to arrest a 13-year-old accused in a series of car thefts and other crimes across the city.

“We had a juvenile who had committed some auto thefts with a group of individuals who have been committing auto thefts and auto burglaries, citywide,” NOPD Second District Commander Jeff Walls said.

Police also arrested a 16-year-old at an apartment in New Orleans East Friday. According to police, he was also armed at the time of his arrest.

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Walls confirmed both boys and several other young teenagers are accused of stealing vehicles from the Hilton Riverside parking lot Thursday. According to police, the suspects stole keys from the hotel’s valet and came back hours later to take the vehicles.

“The individuals came back and actually got a couple of cars and rammed one of the security guard’s vehicles to get out of the parking lot,” Walls said.

Sources tell WWL-TV that the same group of kids may be responsible for as many as five similar crimes at parking lots around the French Quarter and CBD, including one across the street from the La Pavillion Hotel on Poydras Street.

The 13-year-old arrested at his mother’s house in Hollygrove was charged with a list of crimes, including auto theft, auto burglary and aggravated assault. Police say he was on an ankle bracelet after a previous arrest for business burglary but stopped charging his ankle monitor.

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Walls said the teen, despite his young age, has been on NOPD’s radar for quite some time.

“He was in a parking lot on one particular incident with a gun, walking around with a gun. It looked like the gun was bigger than he was,” Walls said.

The 13-year-old’s mother was also cited for improper supervision of a minor by a parent or guardian. The offense carries a fine of up to $250 per offense and up to 30 days in prison.

Police expect to make more arrests in the case.

“There are more individuals involved,” Walls said. “It’s just a matter of identifying them.”