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November 2021 most carjackings in a month this year

Investigators believe there are several loosely knit groups that are organizing carjackings across New Orleans.

NEW ORLEANS — *An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the number of carjackings in November was the month in a single month on record. It was the most for a single month in 2021

The number of carjackings in the city of New Orleans were the highest so far this year, according to Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson, but several recent arrests have taken many suspects off the streets, he said at a press conference Thursday.

"Three or four different groups," he said. Ferguson said many of the juveniles that have been arrested in these cases, including a couple that he said occurred at Costco, are still in custody.

Ferguson said the New Orleans Police Department has had several car chases in the past several weeks. Those car chases included one Thursday morning around 3:30 a.m. when police officers were pursuing a vehicle stolen during a carjacking minutes after it was reported.

Ferguson said that pursuit did not result in an arrest, but police say that pursuit is a demonstration of NOPD's commitment to protecting New Orleans residents and their guests from violent criminals.

NOPD officers with the Second and Fifth Districts arrested two adults and a minor involved in a carjacking that happened near Hickory and Hillary streets, near the Carrollton Cemetery.

The names of those arrested in connection to the Wednesday carjacking will not be released as investigators continue looking into a rash of carjackings across the city.

Investigators believe there are several loosely knit groups that are organizing carjackings across New Orleans. 

"We have reason to believe the arrest was significant, but we must continue the investigation to make a more significant impact on armed and unarmed carjackings," the police chief said.

Ferguson pointed to NOPD’s performance during the Bayou Classic as evidence of an increased vigilance by officers.

He said the NOPD’s actions during Bayou Classic and arrests made during one of the first Sunday second lines since the pandemic demonstrate NOPD’s efforts to deter crime.

Officers with NOPD’s Fifth District arrested four people in four separate instances of illegal firearms and narcotics possession.

Richard Jones, 21, Qantas Charles, 29, Melvin Rivers, 27, and Alvin Ball, 37, were all arrested in separate incidents of carrying concealed weapons, the chief said.

New Orleans is ready to host large events, Ferguson said mentioning the Final Four, Mardi Gras, and other events planned in the city for 2022 — but there was a word of caution.

“There is a new variant,” Ferguson said.

“I am asking, I am pleading — everyone— get your vaccinations. Get your booster shots,” the police chief said. “ That will help us as a city to host future events in New Orleans. We have to protect ourselves as we protect others.”