Carjackings up 173 percent since 2019

According to city data, there have been 134 carjackings in 2021.
Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 5:00 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The increase in carjackings is shaking up neighborhoods across the city where residents are begging for more enforcement and police presence.

Since 2019, carjackings have increased by nearly 173 percent, according to LSU Health Criminologist Peter Scharf, who said something has to change before crime in New Orleans gets worse.

On Saturday, June 12, just before 4 p.m., in the 900 block of N. Galvez Street, neighbors are on edge after a carjacking took place. The victim was making a delivery when a suspect pulled up behind her, jumped in her car, pointed a weapon at her, and took off in the car.

“When that happened, it kind of made me like, have jitters in my stomach because it’s so close,” said a resident near the scene of the crime. “I think if we had more patrolling in the neighborhoods, they would probably be more safer.”

Later that evening-- another carjacking. This time in the 2000 block of Baronne Street. A 36-year-old man was getting out of his car with two women when another man walked up armed with a handgun and demanded the keys.

Early Sunday morning-- just after midnight-- a carjacking in the 1200 block of Filmore Avenue. A 56-year-old man was sitting in his car when he was approached by three armed men who told him to get out and then took his car.

And Sundy evening-- a carjacking attempt near St. Charles Avenue and St. Mary Street.

The victim was driving in the area when the suspect jumped into the passenger side of the vehicle telling him he had a weapon.

The driver pulled out a gun of his own. That’s when the suspect, identified as Quinn Massey, 45, jumped out of the car. He was later arrested.

Scharf said the number of carjackings in the city is up 173 percent over the past three years, adding it’s the largest increase of any crime indicator.

“The general lawlessness in the city right now, people are freaked out, they’re afraid, does that make victims more likely to comply? Does this make this seem like it’s a normal thing to do,” he said.

He said at some point, the crime could impact the entire city.

“At what point, you know, people not going to gas stations, not driving their cars, not wanting to leave their houses? At what point does the city economy really suffer... And I think we’re there,” he said.

The recent increase in carjackings has also gotten the attention of state leaders, like Attorney General Jeff Landry who issued a warning to drivers on Monday morning.

Landry said the rise in carjackings is “plaguing” the entire state. He also gave general safety tips such as: parking in well-lit areas, never leave valuables in the vehicle, and always lock the doors.

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