Over the last month, there's a significant spike in crime and armed robberies in particular in the Marigny Triangle. As can be expected in an area with a heavy nightlife contingent, thieves have been targeting people walking to their cars from Frenchmen St. But the crimes haven't all been cut from the same cast.
Two weeks ago, Max Braun who was in the process of moving to the area from Atlanta was robbed almost as soon as he got out of his car.
“I was in town visiting my girlfriend who lives here. I was just about to move into the area,” Braun said. “What happened is I got into town at 11.30 at night, I think it was a Monday night about two weeks ago. I got out of my car and had an overnight bag with my laptop, checkbook, cellphone and clothes. A block later I see a guy across the street on his cellphone and next thing I know he's running at me from behind with a gun in my face. Then these two guys made me lie face down on the ground while they took all my stuff. It was on Burgundy and St Anthony. Two days later I went back to Atlanta and my girlfriend's car got broken into right in front of our place on Burgundy and they stole her GPS.”
Police are also asking for help in finding a gunman who held up a bartender at Iggy's Bar in the 1900 block of North Rampart on the morning of Saturday, August 6. Detectives say the suspect came into the bar with his gun pulled and demanded the bartender hand over all the cash in the register. He then left with the money as well as the surveillance system monitor and took off in a gold colored 4-door vehicle with chrome rims. The gunman is described as an African American man in his 20's, 6'0" tall, slim build and wearing a green Philadelphia Eagles sweatshirt with a hood.
Within the last few weeks a young couple were robbed at gunpoint on their way to Buffa's on the corner of Touro and Burgundy, a block from their house. A few nights later two European girls were robbed also at gunpoint nearby by a man on a bike who cycled down Touro towards St Claude at 3.30 a.m.
Most of these incidents are not being reported to the New Orleans Police Department. Looking at their crime map one can see that according to their statistics there have only been a total of 15 crimes committed in the Marigny Triangle in the last month, and only two of those were armed robbery. At the time this story went to press NOPD were not returning our calls.
Todd Paden of Neometix Neon & Sign Studio on 1928 Burgundy said “I've lived on this block for 26 years. The only time it was any better was after Katrina and it's getting progressively worse. The summer is always bad and I imagine the economy has something to do with it too. Too many kids with nothing to do. And I certainly don't agree with the police driving down the streets with their lights flashing, that only gives people a chance to hide. If I can see them coming from two blocks away, what does that tell you? If they want to patrol they should do it in plain clothes and not marked cars. It makes people feel good I guess to have a police presence, but that's it.”
Paden has installed security cameras outside of his house for protection. But, in the meantime, he has caught many crimes that happened to be taking place near his door in the act.
“Everybody needs to put in security cameras," he said. "The cops actively pursue me every time there's a crime on this block because they want to look at my footage. Everybody needs to get involved.”