NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - The New Orleans Police Department says in the last few weeks three armed carjackings began as online encounters. Men looking to meet up with a woman they had never met face to face, and in turn getting some action they were not expecting.
It’s a new problem for NOPD officers. A recent string of carjackings tied to online encounters.
Police say the latest carjacking happened Monday night. They say an 18-year-old man was carjacked on the 2100 block of Danneel in Central City. Investigators say the man went there to meet a woman he has chatted with on Kik, a smartphone messenger that allows you to chat, search and share information.
The NOPD says the woman was there along with 10 other men, some of them armed, who police say eventually took off with the teen’s SUV.
“He should have gone somewhere where they had a lot of light at; a lot of people at,” says Central City resident Pernell Knott.
Knott says he does not understand how some can be so trusting.
NOPD Cmdr. Robert Bardy warns, “It’s a different generation and a younger generation, and this certainly an application they do use, so let’s use some common sense there. Why can’t you meet in a well-lit restaurant, in public, where this won’t happen?”
Cmdr. Bardy says this is the third armed robbery in weeks. In all cases women have lured men through social media to meet at a discrete location only to end up carjacked.
On July 23rd, police say a similar scenario unfolded on St. Anthony Street. In this case the two chatted on Tagged. Police were quick to release pictures, and so far they say the victims vehicle has been recovered.
On the 11th, another botched hookup led to a carjacking on Baronne. Police say this too starting with an online encounter on Tagged.
“I like the old fashion way. I rather be walking down the street and if I see someone walking down the street I like I just try play on. I might get a yes or I might get a no, or go to Burger King or McDonald’s and meet somebody, or meet them in the French Quarter or something. That social media, that’s for the young folks there. I don’t even know how to do it,” says Knott.