New Orleans police are searching for a truck stolen in Lakeview during the weekend that might be tied to other crimes in the area.
A dashboard camera caught the brazen theft on video.
The video shows a young person hop out of a black Ford F-150 around noon on Saturday and walk up to a carpenter's silver pickup truck parked in a driveway the 100 block of Conrad Street.
The silver truck pulls out of a driveway moments later, and another person, who brandished a handgun, jumps in.
The stolen truck speeds away as tools spill onto the street out of the open tailgate.
Eric Marsden was sitting on his front steps and smoking a cigarette when he heard a commotion down the block.
"I heard a loud crash and that's when I noticed the guy driving right down the street fast,” Marsden recalled Monday.
The NOPD confirmed the black truck used by the unidentified auto thieves is believed to be the personal vehicle of a police officer. It was stolen earlier Saturday.
The carpenter was working on Candy Stevens’ home when his truck was stolen.
Stevens wondered if the gun the thief had was from the officer's vehicle.
"I don't know if there was gun in there when it was stolen or how the kid got the gun, but, yeah, he was holding a gun," Stevens said.
Marsden said the first officer on the scene watched the video and immediately recognized the truck the thieves were in.
"They're in a black F-150 … that's my truck,” Marsden said the officer told him. “They stole it this morning."
Marsden added, "I asked him, do you live around here. Did they steal it around here? He said, ‘No I live in the East. They stole it in New Orleans East.’”
Surveillance video shows the suspects pulling on car door handles in Conrad before they stole the carpenter's truck.
The windows were reportedly down on that truck, and the keys on the floor board.
Stevens said the theft left her unnerved.
"This is my home," she said. "I want to feel safe here. I have to lock myself up all time. Maybe get a bigger dog next time and one that's a little meaner."
The same group may have stolen another vehicle near Thrasher Street and Marconi Drive in nearby Lake Vista Saturday night.
Police recovered the carpenter's truck Sunday in the 3200 block of Piety Street.
The back tailgate and the rest of the carpenter's tools were missing.
The thieves who took the officer's truck and the carpenter’s truck remained at-large Monday night.
Paul Murphy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.