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5 arrested, 13 guns seized in connection to car burglary, NOPD chief says

"We're just as fed up and aggravated ourselves," said NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson.

NEW ORLEANS — "A few months ago, they were just pulling door handles, the criminals, but now they've gotten so brazen that they're breaking every window on the streets," said Christine Harvey with the Faubourg Avart Neighborhood Association in Uptown New Orleans.

For Harvey and her neighbor Christa Cotton, their uptown neighborhood is not quite like it used to be.

"I have lived in this neighborhood for a decade, and I would say that our property values have gone double what they were — and my personal feeling of safety has been cut in half," said Cotton.

Like so many folks across New Orleans, that feeling of safety has been being smashed by criminals, taking aim at cars outside businesses, churches, schools and just about every neighborhood. 

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Her car has been hit twice in 13 months. Video, from another neighbor, shows just how some of those criminals operate. These crimes have led to neighborhood meetings, like the one Thursday night set up by Harvey.

"This level of destruction has not happened in our neighborhood before, so we want police to know it’s happening here and we want something done about it," said Harvey.

The city's top cop has responded.

"We're just as fed up and aggravated ourselves," said NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson.

Friday afternoon, Ferguson announced the most recent arrests of four adults and a juvenile, all connected to auto-burglaries, resulting in the seizure of 13 guns. Ferguson said there is no one specific plan from his department, but rather each police district across the city creating its own. 

"Each district has their own need and as we can see, with the numerous arrests that we have been making, that their plans are working," said Ferguson.

Ferguson said one problem is repeat offenders which is why his department is working with the criminal justice system to stop the revolving door.

"Some we've arrested numerous times that have resulted in 50 or more charges," said Ferguson.

Even with those arrests, neighbors are still on edge.

"It's a violation of trust and a violation of personal safety," said Cotton.

"It's pretty frustrating, I mean there's not a whole lot we can do as residents," said Harvey. 

When it comes to protecting property, police said people should invest in security cameras, be aware of their surroundings, and park in well-lit areas.

Police also suggest that people shouldn't leave anything in plain sight, and they should not take action into their own hands.

While this may not stop some criminals, it could deter others. Police said a lot of these break-ins happen as crimes of opportunity when a lot of cars are parked in one place at the same time. 

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