Crime Report: NOPD discusses methods to deter auto burglaries, shoplifting
NOPD Third District officers cycled through patrolling and partnership ideas at their meeting this week to explore ways to decrease shoplifting and auto burglary trends.
The weekly meeting of ranking officers took place in the Third District police station. During his property crimes report, Sergeant Jason Hickman spoke about what the district can do to tackle its issues.
Auto Theft & Burglary
Hickman said that a crew of suspects from the Fifth District try to ride in multiple cars they attain from auto thefts or burglaries in order to pull on car handles in Lakeview and steal more.
“For the past four weeks, you’re looking along Harrison Avenue from Catina (Street) to Orleans (Avenue),” Hickman elaborated.
Hickman said the NOPD ties some auto thefts that occur between midnight and 4 a.m. together because they are witnessing stolen cars being used to commit more auto burglaries. According to him, witnesses said they observed a previously arrested auto theft suspect, Derek Ambo, aged 19, riding in a jeep on Catina Street and Polk Street. An auto theft was reported at that intersection at 1:04 p.m. on Sept. 10.
“He’s a huge problem,” Hickman said. “We’ve put so many arrests on him, but he’s out once again. And he’s already back at it.”
Hickman explained to Third District Commander Jeff Walls that property crime repeat offenders are pleading guilty to their crimes and then serving little time. He said the district is also collecting DNA from the scene, but the NOPD tells them that if the crime has anything to do with property, they can’t send the DNA to the state police to be processed. Hickman said the reason is because other violent crime cases take priority.
Sergeant Richard Welch suggested that the Third District enlist help from the state police or Seventh District to deter auto thefts and auto burglaries. Walls said he would ask the state police for aid.
“We could be in the area and do a perimeter once something happens, but maybe we could start catching these guys redhanded,” Welch said.
“We’re catching them in the act, and we’re getting behind them,” Hickman said. “The only problem is, once they take off, we can’t chase them. And there’s been multiple times we’ve gotten behind them.”
“At least they’re allowed to chase,” Welch said, referring to state police. Welch added that the suspects always run straight to the Fifth District when they do run.
With shoplifting, Hickman said that the past couple of weeks have seen cases reported anywhere from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The incidents have taken place along the 4200 to 4500 blocks of both Chef Menteur Hwy and Old Gentilly Road, where dollar stores and other businesses are located. The Family Dollar on 2125 Caton Street has also been in shoplifting reports.
Hickman asked officers to sit in the parking lots of these dollar stores as they write their own reports.
The next weekly NOPD meeting will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 1 p.m in the Third District Station, located at 4650 Paris Avenue. The Third District Commander announced that upcoming weekly police meetings will take place in the station’s roll call room from now on. The room offers more space and there officers can make persons crime and property crimes presentations using a projector to display data.