NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Police are warning drivers to take precautions, as they continue to search for two brothers accused of carjacking and impersonating a police officer.
“Use your judgment. Traditionally, law enforcement wants you to stop in a well lit, populated area, not only for your safety, but for theirs as well,” says Commander Chris Goodly.
Police say drivers approached by flashing blue lights should slow down and use turn signals to indicate that they are aware that they need to pull over. If a driver doubts the legitimacy of a police vehicle, N.O.P.D. urges them to call 911 and have a dispatcher confirm the activity.
Most importantly, be sure to pull over in a secure place where cameras are likely to be present, “such as a gas station or a convenience store,” says Goodly.
The warnings come after two brothers, Haussan Lewis, 19, and Lance Lewis, 21, allegedly pulled a man over at the intersection of Saint Claude Avenue and Tupelo Avenue shortly after midnight Friday. The victim told police the men identified themselves as undercover police officers and ordered him out of his vehicle. Once outside, the victim said he was told to put his hands on the hood.
“The suspects went through his pockets and stole his wallet, keys to his car and his medication,” the NOPD said. The suspects then jumped into the victim’s vehicle.
Within minutes the victim flagged down an actual police unit, that chased the suspects and observed them exiting the vehicle and fleeing on foot.
Before the carjacking, the Lewis brothers were driving a stolen white, Ford Crown Victoria, a personal vehicle belonging to an officer who works in the Second Justice Court in Jefferson Parish.
The Crown Victoria is not a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s vehicle, but it did have Department of Justice decals on it when it was recovered, along with a flashing blue illuminated light.
The vehicle had been reported stolen around 9 p.m. Thursday from the 700 block of Pailet Street in Harvey.
N.O.P.D. says both the carjacking victim’s vehicle and the stolen Crown Victoria have been returned to their owners.
If you any information on this crime, please call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.