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New Orleans carjacking victim charged $400 to recover car

"I certainly think it's very unfair what happened to this victim and I also think that potentially it could be a legal violation of the Victims' Bill of Rights."

NEW ORLEANS — A carjacking victim who had his car stolen a week ago in the Marigny feels he's being victimized again. 

First, when his car was stolen and again when he had to pay nearly $400 to get it back.

"I was able to retrieve the car today at a cost of $397 cash payment," the victim, who didn't want to be identified, said.

Tuesday, the victim spent the day cleaning out his car.

"Obviously, the car was smoked in," he said. "There's random stuff inside that does not belong to me and obviously some stuff from other people who have been victims of crime, credit cards, IDs, a cell phone."

He recalls being carjacked Jan. 10 around 2:30 a.m. after leaving a bar in the Marigny. The victim said he was sitting in his car when he was approached by armed men, shot at, chased and beaten to the ground before his car was stolen.

"They chased me down and fired a shot at me," he said, thankful he wasn't hit by the bullet. "I'm mostly healing from the physical wounds. My ribs are the worst."

The victim said he was informed Saturday by NOPD that his car was located and taken to a private towing company called "KP Towing" in New Orleans East.

"They knew the car was involved in a crime so why it was taken to a private tow yard is anybody's guess," the victim said.

To get it back Tuesday, he paid $397 in cash. If he decides to file a claim through his insurance, he said he will have to pay a $500 deductible.

"I could recoup the $397 I suppose through my insurance but I have to pay a deductible up front, seems like a lot of money going out for a carjacking victim," he said.

City Councilmember-At-Large Helena Moreno reached out to WWL-TV following the initial story on this victim which aired Monday.

"Your story was brought to my attention by a victims rights attorney who actually helped with legislation around this very issue," Moreno said.

Moreno explained she worked on legislation in 2017 that amended the Victims' Bill of Rights to ensure this didn't happen.

"The state legislation says if you have property stolen or it is used as evidence, once it is no longer necessary it is supposed to be returned to you at no cost," she explained.

Moreno further explains the towing costs often fall on the City, who can then file for restitution if there is a conviction in the case. She said she alerted the city attorney to investigate why this victim's car was taken to a private towing company with the cost put on him.

"I certainly think it's very unfair what happened to this victim and I also think that potentially it could be a legal violation of the Victims' Bill of Rights," Moreno said.

Meanwhile, New Orleans police have arrested two suspects in this case including a 17-year-old juvenile male and 18-year-old Quinton Skipper who already has a lengthy rap sheet including carjackings and armed robberies.

"Seventeen year olds out on the street and it seem like a revolving door, they get in, they get out, they get in, they get out," the victim said.

He's hoping for solutions to prevent others from falling victim to crimes and any burden that follows.

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