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VIDEO: Thief steals car while owner puts air in tires

Updated: Dec. 28, 2020 at 9:51 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A Lakeview man is searching for his car after a thief took off in it while he was still hanging on.

It happened around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday in front of a street full of neighbors and their children.

“I was talking to my manager and he told me I was a fourth person that he personally knows that got carjacked since Thanksgiving,” Felipe Da Silva said.

Da Silva learned the hard way how common car thefts have become.

”Everyone’s telling me to just, you know, assume the car’s gone forever,” Da Silva said.

Da Silva was filling his tires using a portable pump plugged into his running car right in front of his own home.

”I felt the wheels shift and a pop and I was freaking out I didn’t know what was going on, and then, boom, the car started jetting down the street,” Da Silva said. “Just speeding down and I was holding on for a second and then started chasing as fast as I could.”

You can see in neighbors surveillance video, a grey pickup truck passes Da Silva by a few times, apparently scoping him out. The thieves wait until he gets to his passenger side before one creeps up and slides right into the driver’s seat before peeling out, dragging a confused Da Silva with them.

”I didn’t see it coming at all,” Da Silva said. “I was, you know, focused on the tires and in broad daylight, families are around, you know, with kids all over the place. When I came running back, there was a group of people behind me that saw the whole thing happen.”

He thought to track his phone that was in the car, only to find it had been chucked out the window down the street. However, he says there may have been a sighting in that same neighborhood on the same day.

”The neighbor that we talked to had to chase two people out of his driveway because he saw someone fidgeting or messing around his car and he noticed that the description of my car was one of the cars that was there,” Da Silva said.

Unfortunately, just one of the latest instances of car crime.

Treme residents were left cleaning up their shattered windows after 48 vehicles along Dumaine, St. Philip and Ursuline Streets were broken into early Monday morning.

“Yeah, this is the first time it’s actually happened in our neighborhood, so it just was a random act,” Alicia Kelly said. “You know, they used to do this before and then it kind of slacked off I guess. They got us.”

Meanwhile for Da Silva, he says it’s a lesson learned.

”I have to be much more alert in this city, even front of your house,” Da Silva said. “I just I had no idea we could even go down like that.”

Keep your eyes peeled for a 2013 Nissan Maxima. It’s black with a red tint to it and has dark tinted windows. It has a Louisiana license plate 302CTT. Da Silva says it also has a “Nissan Freeway” emblem from the dealership. If you see it, call NOPD.

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