NEW ORLEANS — Authorities say three teenagers have been arrested, accused of an armed carjacking in which a 12-year-old boy and 11-month-old baby were ordered from their mother's car at gunpoint.
The New Orleans Police Department said the carjacking happened around 5:35 p.m. on Wednesday in the 3000 block of Holiday Drive in full view of a large parking lot.
Witnesses say the mother parked her car in front of the Ross Dress for Less and left the two children in the car as she went into the store. Police say that's when two teens approached the car and pointed a gun at the 12-year-old, ordering him from the car. The boy complied, taking the 11-month-old baby with him before running into the store.
Kris Thomas, who works in the shopping center, heard the theft happen. He said what came next was a “whole commotion,” with many police officers arriving.
“She had a little baby and I was like, oh my god, it was a family,” Thomas said.
Investigators say the three teens then got into the car and pulled out of the parking spot but then got out and jumped into another nearby car.
Later that evening, detectives learned that three teenagers had been apprehended in connection with a vehicle that was found crashed at the intersection of Canal and North Villere streets. The crashed vehicle matched the description of the car used in the earlier armed carjacking and was reportedly stolen from the 2100 block of Fourth Street on April 12.
The NOPD said that two of the teens - aged 15 and 13 - were positively identified as the armed carjackers from the parking lot carjacking. Police say the 15-year-old had a gun when he was arrested. The third teen - a 16-year-old - was identified as the getaway driver.
Additionally, police say the 15-year-old suspect was linked to two other carjackings on Feb. 20. Those crimes reportedly happened in the 600 block of South Johnson Street and another in the 300 block of South Broad Street.
The 16-year-old was also linked to an auto theft on April 10 in the 200 block of Henry Clay Avenue, police say.
The three teens were booked into the Juvenile Justice Intervention Center on the following charges:
- The 15-year-old suspect was booked with use of firearm in commission of a robbery and for armed robbery in the Holiday Drive incident; with carjacking in the South Johnson Street incident; with illegal possession of stolen things, possession of a firearm by a juvenile, illegal use of weapons and illegal carrying of a weapon in the 4th Street incident; and with carjacking in the South Broad Street incident.
- The 13-year-old suspect was booked with use of firearm in commission of a robbery and for armed robbery in the Holiday Drive incident, and with illegal possession of a stolen vehicle in the 4th Street incident.
- The 16-year-old suspect was booked with use of firearm in commission of a robbery and for armed robbery in the Holiday Drive incident; with illegal possession of a stolen vehicle in the 4th Street incident; and with theft of a motor vehicle in the Henry Clay Avenue incident.
Anyone with additional information on these incidents is urged to contact NOPD Fourth District detectives at 504-658-6040, NOPD Second District detectives at 504-658-6020, NOPD Sixth District detectives at 504-658-6060 or NOPD First District detectives at 504-658-6010.