Four New Orleans restaurants robbed over four-day span

Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 4:44 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans police are investigating four similar restaurant burglaries that occurred over a four-day span.

A break-in early Saturday morning (Oct. 1) rattled nerves at El Taco Loco on S. Carrollton Avenue in the River Bend area near Uptown New Orleans.

“We are feeling less safe about this part of New Orleans,” manager Higino Guerra said.

Video surveillance shows two hooded thieves make off with a safe full of documents as well as a cash register. In just two minutes, Guerra says the burglars took thousands in equipment.

“I think the cost (for the register), including the whole system, was like $5,000,” Guerra said. “Altogether, everything cost around $12,000.”

Just down Carrolton Avenue in Mid-City, Brown Butter is recovering after two thieves broke into the restaurant on Monday.

Felipe’s Uptown was also targeted by two individuals in hoodies on National Taco Day. Around the same time, the New Orleans Police Department says a business on the 4500 block of Freret Street was hit by someone who rode by on a bicycle.

Police could not say whether the break-ins were connected to each other.

More: Felipe’s Uptown taqueria vandalized, ransacked on National Taco Day

Managers at El Taco Loco fear the thieves who robbed his restaurant could have been customers that scoped the business out since they opened two weeks ago.

“We thought we would be safer moving the restaurant here, but this is the first time something like this has happened to us,” Guerra said.

Near the corner of Carrolton Avenue and Hampson Street where El Taco Loco is located, other business owners are worried about the uptick in crime. The NOPD is investigating a theft on Sept. 23, two separate unarmed carjackings on Sept. 22 and Sept. 25, and a property snatching on Oct. 4.

Manny Galvez, Owner of La Macarena Pupuseria on Hampson Street, is concerned about the safety of his business, employees, and customers.

“Part of the attraction for (thieves) is that they see a lot of traffic,” Galvez said. “This is where the students hang out and this is one of the pearls of New Orleans tourism. It’s essential that we keep this area extremely secure.”

Galvez says the news of a crime uptick has spread among his customer base and some regulars are no longer visiting his business because of it.

“We have seen a decline from customers that live in Jefferson Parish,” Galvez said. “I have dear friends in Metairie who want to try our food but they are afraid of stepping in New Orleans.”

And whether it’s the River Bend or somewhere else in New Orleans, owners like Galvez are pleading for more patrols and security from the city.

“We need help. NOPD needs help and Mayor Cantrell please get your act together and get us some help,” he said.

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