NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - “This morning we were sent text messages and emails from friends. Other than that we didn't know,” explains Christine Rhine.
Rhine has lived Uptown for close to a decade. She usually feels safe, but now things have changed.
“About 15 minutes prior to, we were right up the street unloading our groceries and went in and didn't know anything was going,” says Rhine.
Just 15 minutes after Rhine stepped inside Sunday night, and footsteps away from her home, police say a 53-year-old man and 56-year-old woman were robbed while they unloaded groceries on the 7000 block of Camp Street. In this case reports shows the suspects were three men armed with guns, yet police say four have been tied to a string of robberies Uptown from Camp Street to Willow and Fern to Henry Clay.
The NOPD says at least four of the robberies happened last night, but they believe they men: 17-year-old Morris Smith, 18-year-old Taman Martin, 19-year-old Darrell Quinn and 20-year-old Tevin Quinn are tied to even more armed robberies Uptown, and possibly other crimes throughout the city as well.
As the investigations continues authorities warn residents be vigilant.
“Everybody now has these smart phones and they're playing games on the phones and texting and talking, but especially at night, they need to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings. If they're driving their car and their going to park in front of their residence and they see anything at all that is suspicious they need to call the police and keep driving,” warns NOPD Second District Commander Paul Noel.
Back on the 7000 block of Camp Street most say they are taking precautions, but need the city to step it up. They say an overgrown lot owned by the city has plagued neighbors for months and now some wonder if at least one of those robberies could have been prevented.
“We've been trying to get, for a long time, to get the city to come in and clean up and cut the area down and nothing has happened,” says resident Susan Currie.
On December 22, 2014, at approximately 8:55 p.m., a 45-year-old male was walking on Henry Clay Avenue approaching Coliseum Street when he was approached by two suspects, one armed with a gun. One of the suspects struck the victim in the neck before demanding his property. After the victim gave the suspects his wallet and phone, the suspects ordered the victim to lie on the ground. The victim was then searched by the suspects and found to be in possession of a concealed firearm. The suspects subsequently took the firearm out of the victim’s holster and fled the area.
On January 4, 2015, the following incidents occurred:
At approximately 6:11 p.m., in the 5100 block of Camp Street, a 28-year-old male was walking to his residence when two suspects exited a vehicle. One of the suspects, armed with a gun, demanded the victim’s wallet at which time the victim complied. Both suspects subsequently fled in a 2007 Toyota 4Runner.
At approximately 6:24 p.m., in the 7000 block of Camp Street, a 53-year-old female and 56-year-old male were unloading groceries from their vehicle when they were approached by three suspects armed with guns. The suspects began demanding the victims’ property at which time they grabbed the female victim’s phone from her hands and took the male victim’s wallet and cell phone. The suspects proceeded to reach into the male victim’s pockets attempting to take pocket change while one of the suspects searched inside the vehicle. The suspects subsequently fled with the victims’ property in an unknown vehicle.
At approximately 6:45 p.m., in the 5100 block of Willow Street, a 62-year-old female was walking with groceries when three suspects approached and demanded her property. The victim became scared and began to flee at which time the suspects pushed her to the ground. After the victim started to scream, the suspects became startled and fled in a Toyota 4Runner.
At approximately 7:00 p.m., in the 2100 block of Fern Street, a 31-year-old male was walking to his residence when two suspects exited a vehicle. One of the suspects, armed with a gun, demanded that the victim get on the ground. The victim complied, at which time the suspects removed the victim’s phone and wallet from his rear pants pocket. The suspects fled in a Toyota 4Runner.
The Second District Investigative Unit is in charge of the investigation and can be reached at 658-6020.
Citizens with information that can help solve this crime are asked to call Crimestoppers at 822-1111 or toll-free 1-877-903-STOP. You could receive a cash reward of up to $2,500 for the information leading to the arrest and indictment of the responsible person(S). You do not have to give your name nor testify to receive the reward. Citizens can also submit an anonymous tip online to Crimestoppers at www.crimestoppersgno.org