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NOPD warns public to stay alert at gas stations after 4 carjackings happened in 12 hours

“We need people to be aware of their surroundings. These are four very quick robberies that happened in quick succession, right, over a twelve-hour period."

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Police are asking residents to be on alert after a string of carjackings, robberies, and attempted carjackings at gas stations in the city.

The crime scenes span four miles, and their suspect is armed. Police are worried someone may get hurt before the crime spree is over.

“Within a 12-hour period we’ve had four incidents occur. We believe it’s the same individual. And in three of those four instances, they were willing to use a weapon to steal or attempt to steal something,” said 7th District Captain Nicholas Gernon.

The first happened at the Speed Racer at 5200 Crowder Boulevard around 8 p.m. on Wednesday evening.

Police say a man hopped into a running car while the driver was attending to other business at the gas station. When the driver confronted him, the suspect pointed a gun at her and drove off.

Then, about 20 minutes later, police say the same suspect came back to the same station and stole another running car.

Around 6:30 Thursday morning, at the Brother’s in the 7000 block of Bullard Avenue, a man with the same description in a black, stolen SUV, got into the driver’s seat of another car while the owner was pumping gas.

The driver confronted the man and he pulled out a gun but ran off.  Surveillance video caught a clear photo of the black SUV being used by the suspect and a possible accomplice.

Just about 15 minutes later, at the Fuel Express Mart in the 6500 block of Morrison Road, police got their guy on video.

They said he tried to steal another running car, was confronted, pointed a gun at the driver, and demanded her purse.

“We need people to be aware of their surroundings. These are four very quick robberies that happened in quick succession, right, over a twelve-hour period,” said Captain Gernon.

Police believe the suspect is targeting people who leave keys in their car unattended.

They’re warning people to stay alert, and not to confront an armed suspect. Instead, victims should call 911.

Capt. Gernon said, “Please don’t confront them. Because right now, we know that there’s somebody that is targeting individuals that are not paying attention.”

If you see the suspect or the vehicle involved in this incident or have any information, call police. 

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