METAIRIE, La. — Since October, it has been one car break in after another in Jefferson Parish. The culprits, often hitting the Old Metairie area, opening unlocked cars or breaking into them, trying to steal whatever valuables they can.
“The lasting impression it made on us, it just really disrupted our sense of peace,” said Metairie resident Peter Zuppardo.
Zuppardo says the suspects got into his wife’s unlocked car last month. Thankfully, there was nothing of value left inside, and the suspects were caught on camera.
These recent string of car burglaries have residents on edge, but they’re even more concerned because the suspects are armed. Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office released several images of the suspects holding guns during the burglaries. The images, leaving Zuppardo deeply disturbed.
“Very violated to tell you the truth. We feel like we’ve lived in what has been a real, nice quite neighborhood. It pains me to think that there’s a potential for this to really turn into something tragic,” said Zuppardo.
Deputies have identified three suspects in these burglaries. 19-year-old Maliek Hundley, 21-year-old James Elphage and 20-year-old Jerome Brown. All three men are from New Orleans and are linked to car break-ins at Oakridge Park, Hector Avenue, and Iona Street.
Zuppardo says it’s time for these men to turn themselves in, before things take a turn for the worst.
“It would be tragic if somebody got injured or a life got lost, either the perpetrator’s or an innocent bystander, over something so silly, something so pointless.”
Several residents told us off camera they think it’s easy for the suspects to jump onto the highway and make their getaway to New Orleans. These residents told us that Jefferson Parish deputies cannot pursue the suspects once they cross parish lines. We reached out to Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and are waiting to hear back.