It’s a story you’ll see only on WGNO. A couple is rethinking their frequent, lavish trips to New Orleans after they say someone stole more than half-a-million-dollars’ worth of jewelry as they slept in their French Quarter hotel room. WGNO News Anchor Vanessa Bolano speaks exclusively to the victims.
Joel Cavalier and his wife, Laurie, live in Biloxi, but the two are in New Orleans often.
“Often, yes, about every two or three weeks,” says Cavalier.
The couple was last in town this weekend. They were picking up Laurie’s Christmas gift, a custom made $500,000 diamond ring. Unfortunately, Laurie enjoyed it only a few hours.
“Laurie got up about 5:20 that morning and went downstairs, and she was surprised to find the French doors were wide open. She came upstairs and she said, ‘I hope they didn’t leave the front door open,’ and we went back down and the jewelry, three pieces of the four pieces, were gone,” explains Cavalier.
NOPD detectives are investigating. They’ve combed through clues, and fingerprinted the hotel room. Cavalier says the heist happened early Sunday morning. He says the ring and two other diamond bracelets, valued at about $100,000, were stolen from their hotel room as the two slept.
“It happened, you know, sometime we think between 12 and 2am,” says Cavalier.
The couple was staying in The Carriage House at The Maison Dupuy. Cavalier says a strategically placed surveillance camera was supposed to be working.
“We later learned this morning that the camera was not operable at all and they had no idea how long the camera has been not working,” says Cavalier.
WGNO paid a visit to The Maison Dupuy and spoke with a manager who had “No comment,” and would not confirm whether they are reviewing security protocols.
Cavalier says, “It puts a bad, you know, taste in our mouth about coming back to New Orleans obviously. You know, we’re, every little bitty noise frightens us.”
If you know anything police are urging you to give them a call. The couple thinks it was an inside job, but police say the investigation is ongoing.
Cavalier says the two diamond bracelets are insured, but there’s some question as to whether the $500,000 ring is. The couple had just picked it up on Saturday and were in the process of finalizing paperwork with the insurance company.