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Family avoids becoming a victim in the recent rash of car thefts in New Orleans

After Jones's mother sped away, the Jeep turned the corner and parked in a lane on Orleans Avenue next to a truck owned by the person cutting her lawn.

NEW ORLEANS — NEW ORLEANS -- It was an otherwise quiet morning in Mid-City on Friday.
That changed in seconds.

Chelsea Jones was outside of her home on North Alexander Street, loading children into her mom's SUV, around 9:30 a.m.

A gray Jeep Renegade pulled up and stopped.

"I yelled at my Mom, 'Hey, that's the stolen car I'd seen on Facebook.

Her mom, Mary Richard whipped around.

"I turned and said, 'What?' The car was right beside me.,” Richard said.

“Get in the car and go!” Jones shouted at her mom.

“She took off, and I proceeded to run inside and grabbed a pistol and my boyfriend,” Jones said.

The Jeep is the one Jones saw earlier on Facebook.

Its owner posted that someone stole it from her Thursday night as she pumped gas at an Exxon station at South Carrollton and Washington avenues.

Jones said police called to her home after the near-theft told her it was the same Jeep, and she was stunned to see it pull up in front of her house.

It was also surprising how cavalier the people who drove it acted.

"There was no urgency,” Jones said of their behavior.

After Jones's mother sped away, the Jeep turned the corner and parked in a lane on Orleans Avenue next to a truck owned by the person cutting her lawn.

"They yanked on the handle of the lawn people's car and they got in the car and drove off,” Jones said.

Video posted Friday to NOPD’s YouTube page showed a gray Jeep Renegade pull up to a gas station near Franklin Avenue and I-610 about 20 minutes before Jones and her mother encountered a gray Jeep Renegade on their street.

A man was putting air in the tire of his Audi, when someone jumped out of the Jeep, into his car and took off.

As for Jones, despite the hectic few minutes, she's grateful it didn't end with anyone hurt -- and thankful they lost no property.

"They chose to get back in their vehicle and leave, but it could have been a lot worse,” she said.

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