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'They told me to leave it running and get out. I said - Nope'

"If you can't even slow down at a stop sign because you're afraid somebody is going to jump out and take your car from you, that's a problem," said the victim.

NEW ORLEANS — UPDATE: The victim's vehicle was recovered on January 11. Two suspects, 18-year-old Quinton Skipper and a 17-year-old juvenile were arrested and booked on one count of armed robbery.

It's been just over two weeks since the start of the new year, but already the NOPD is investigating dozens of carjackings. Since January 1, 2022, NOPD confirms there have been 53 carjackings, attempted carjackings, and armed robberies involving car thefts.

One man was leaving a bar in the Marigny January 10, when he became a carjacking victim.

"I texted a friend and they said they were going to come meet me so I was just sitting in my car for a moment looking at my phone," the victim said.

He recalled it was 2:30 in the morning on Rampart Street near Elysian Fields Ave. Surveillance video shows a white car pull up next to his car.

"From nowhere came two people from either side of my car, the driver's side door was ripped open, the person on the other side got that door open and they were both inside my car. They told me to leave it running and get out. I just remember saying, 'nope,' and taking the key, turning it off," he said. "My phone was in my left hand and I ran."

As he was running he heard a gunshot, but fortunately wasn't hit.

"It must have been an attempt to get me to stop. I didn't stop, I just kept going," the victim said.

Video from another camera shows the victim being chased down the street and then pushed to the ground.

"They tackled me on the street and tried to get the key from me," he said.

The victim said his attacker found a spare car key in a backpack they took from his back seat. NOPD confirms a suspect drove off in the victim's car, but it's since been found and is now at a towing lot. The victim said he was told by NOPD and the towing company that he'll have to pay to get it back.

"I did not know this - crime victims have to pay to have their cars returned to them because they've been towed and stored in a tow lot. I've already had to replace my phone, so being a crime victim is going to cost me close to $1,000 because these people decided to steal my car," he said.

The victim hopes city leaders will work for solutions to make the city safer.

"If you can't sit in your car, if you can't drive your car, if you can't even slow down at a stop sign because you're afraid somebody is going to jump out and take your car from you, that's a problem... and that's a problem that needs to be addressed not only by police, but by city council. This needs to be addressed by all levels of the city and everyone who is running the city," he said.  

RELATED: N.O. council says it's committed to doing something about city's crime problem

RELATED: NOPD arrest four people who may be connected to Saturday Uptown carjacking spree

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