Criminals in cars stolen in New Orleans wreak havoc in neighboring parishes
METAIRIE, La. (WVUE) - Two armed robbery suspects remain at large and another man was arrested in two separate car chases and crashes in less than 12 hours in Jefferson Parish. Both crashes involved cars stolen from New Orleans.
In the first instance, a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman says two suspects refused an attempted traffic stop Wednesday night (Jan. 25) just after 10 p.m. and led deputies on a chase, eventually crashing their stolen vehicle and being shot at by the lawmen after emerging with guns.
“Then the driver and the passenger both got out. Both were armed and took deputies on a foot chase. As the deputy was making contact with them, he perceived a threat. He fired his service weapon at least one time at one of the two,” says Capt. Jason Rivarde.
The suspects are still on the loose, but deputies believe at least one of them was injured either by gunfire or from the accident.
“When they’re out there stealing a new car every single day, it starts adding up,” says Sheriff Joe Lopinto.
Thursday morning, JPSO deputies spotted a stolen truck around 8 a.m. at Bonnabel and the I-10 service road. When the driver refused to stop, Jefferson Parish deputies chased the vehicle until it crashed into a preschool.
“It eventually crashed here on Metairie Avenue into a decretive wall outside The Little Red Schoolhouse,” says Capt. Jason Rivarde.
The driver jumped out and ran, but was captured after a brief foot pursuit. One deputy suffered minor injuries when he cut himself on a fence.
“When they searched the vehicle, they found a gun and some narcotics inside the vehicle,” says Rivarde.
In the car was an adult female and three children - including two toddlers. Deputies say a gun was found next to the toddler’s car seat.
Jefferson Parish deputies search for armed suspects after opening fire near Metairie apartments
Another stolen car from New Orleans crashes in Metairie following chase; one arrested
Two sought after car stolen with 6-year-old girl in backseat in St. Bernard Parish
Sheriff Lopinto says brazen criminals from New Orleans are crossing parish lines, committing crimes throughout the metro area.
“We have to accept all the crimes that exist, whether that’s shoplifting or stolen vehicles, and try to put consequences on them so that way it doesn’t turn into something worse,” says Sheriff Lopinto.
He says it’s about cracking down on the criminal behavior that prevents more from happening.
According to the Metropolitan Crime Commission, in the first 25 days of the year, at least 791 people in New Orleans reported their vehicle stolen. That’s an average of 32 cars a day.
Those stolen vehicles aren’t just showing up in Jefferson Parish, they’re also wreaking havoc in St. Bernard Parish.
Tuesday night, two suspects in a stolen Kia from New Orleans tried to carjack a couple and then stole a car with a child in the backseat. The child was found safe, but the suspects got away after deputies chased them into New Orleans East.
“When I tell you every cop in St. Bernard was looking for them, they weren’t playing,” says Christi Trahan.
“If they come to St. Bernard, you will be caught. We are not going to stop here,” says Chief of Detectives Chad Clark.
Clark says in the past week and a half, five separate incidents unfolded involving stolen cars and guns from New Orleans. He believes more juveniles need to be held accountable in Orleans Parish.
“We have to crack down on juveniles,” says Clark. “I don’t think they’re getting the justice that’s really deserved.”
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