Letter from LCIA President Rory Bellina
According to the latest official NOPD Uniform Crime Report, which our Lakeview Crime Prevention District receives updates on monthly and provides to at their monthly meetings,as of August 22, 2018, seventy-one Lakeview auto burglaries have been reported to the NOPD. In 98% of these incidents, the victim’s vehicles were unlocked or displayed no signs of forced entry when the crimes occurred. Twenty-six vehicles were stolen in Lakeview through August 22, 2018, and of these, twenty-four were stolen with the keys left inside of the vehicle. Thankfully, NOPD has recovered and returned these vehicles to their owners. However, most of the keys were never recovered with the vehicles, meaning the criminal may still possess the key and re-steal the vehicle if it is not re-keyed or reprogrammed.
NOPD investigators are aware that most offenders are juveniles and at no time did these offenders break windows to enter vehicles, nor have they used electronic devices to unlock or start vehicles that were burglarized or stolen. Video evidence shows that if a car door is locked, the offenders would move to the next vehicle and pull the car door handles until they found a vehicle that was unlocked, sometimes while slowly driving a stolen car down the street and having a passenger reach of out their window to pull the car door handle. Investigators know that offenders are looking for keys, cash, and firearms. When keys are located and the criminal is unable to steal the vehicle at that time, they will hold on to the key and return at a later date to take the vehicle. No vehicles were stolen whereby the steering columns were defeated and a key or key fob was used in 96% of cases.
Lakeview crime statistic comparison year to date through August 21, 2018 shows crime is down in every category in Lakeview except for shoplifting, resulting in a 17% crime reduction through the first 8 months of 2018. Shopliftings increased during the first quarter of 2018 due to a habitual shoplifter targeting a certain local business. After an extensive investigation, he was located and arrested and No shoplifting incidents have been reported from that business since this arrest.
Please do your best to confirm that your vehicle is locked every night. If we continue to lock our vehicles, this will hopefully deter these criminals from coming to our neighborhood and targeting our community. If you keep a firearm in your vehicle, please try to remember to remove it when you exit the vehicle. I understand that it is an inconvenience, but we do not want to give these criminals any motive to return to Lakeview. This letter is by no means intended to be victim-shaming, but instead provide an update on crime trends in our neighborhood and a request to everyone to do a part in keeping Lakeview safe. If you would like a complimentary LCPD car decal, please come to a LCPD meeting or any LCIA meeting or event. These stickers go on your rear glass, driver’s side, lower corner, and help NOPD easily identify cars owned by Lakeview residents during their patrols in Lakeview (and also when a car with this decal is spotted in a high crime area). Also, if you would like updated crime stats, reports, or have questions that you would like answered in person, please attend a LCPD meeting! For more information, please visit lcpdnola.org.