NEW ORLEANS — Renfield starring Nicholas Cage is supposed to be a monster movie, not a crime drama.
Tell that to 20 plus background actors and crewmembers.
Wednesday, they returned to their cars after a night of filming in New Orleans to find their vehicles broken into and vandalized.
“They didn’t steal nothing,” crewmember Keghan Gunby said. “There wasn’t anything to (bleeping) steal.”
Gunby said vandals hit the car he borrowed to get to work.
“I’m just more upset about the fact that it’s my grandmother’s car, that’s not even my car, it’s my grandmother’s car,” he said.
Elmo Peoples said they stole his insurance papers, two bank cards and a laptop.
“I’m supposed to be here all week and I don’t even want to come back because I feel like they don’t really care about us as much as the main characters or actors,” People added.
Piles of broken glass littered the Lower Garden District parking lot, not far from the Renfield base camp across the street from the Morial Convention Center.
Cory Parker is the local business agent for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE).
“It’s unfortunate for these folks,” Parker said. “They’re just trying to make a living and work hard. They are Louisiana people that are trying to pay their bills. Now they have the expense of a new windshield of a new side window.”
Parker doesn’t think the vandalism will keep film and TV productions from coming to New Orleans.
But he hopes city leaders and the NOPD get a handle on this recent crime spike, as soon as possible.
“We all love our city,” Parker said. “We all love being here. The people that come here love our city and they love employing our people because we do such a good job for them.”
Vandals were able to get into what was supposed to be a secure parking lot.
“They had one security guard here and I feel they should have more because we have hundreds of actors here right now,” Peoples said.
Crewmembers say their vehicles were vandalized while they were filming on a nearby movie set.
“A lot of things were taken out of the glove compartment, and everything was just thrown into the seats,” crewmember Pirvus Gutierrez said. “Personal property was stolen from the vehicle.”
The production company, Love Bugs Film LLC, pledged to beef up security.
But warned crewmembers, with crime on the rise in the city, they always need to pay attention to their surroundings and not bring anything valuable to the set.
New Orleans police are now investigating the car burglaries.
They were unable to release any additional details at this time.
There have been 941 vehicles burglaries in New Orleans so far this year.
According to the city council’s crime dashboard, car break-ins are up by nearly 40 percent compared to the same time last year.