Uptown sees increase in vehicle break-ins


The Second District New Orleans Police station is located on 4317 Magazine St. Photo credit: John Casey

John Casey

Since Mardi Gras’ conclusion, crime in the university area has leveled out, according to the NOPD.

The New Orleans Police Department Second District held its monthly crime report meeting at Touro Hospital last Tuesday evening. District officials said crime is up eight percent this year, due to a flux of crime during the Mardi Gras season where residence break-ins and burglaries were on the rise.

The bulk of crime in the university area over the past month was comprised of vehicle break-ins and assaults, unlike previous months where burglaries formed the vast bulk of crime.

There was a drastic drop in burglaries in the university area in March. NOPD conducted a series of arrests early this month targeting burglary suspects. One official said in a meeting earlier this month following the arrests that they believe there will be a near complete halt in robberies, and the official was correct. Only two burglaries were reported since the start of the month, down from 22 burglaries last month.

The arrests of four men led to the drastic drop in burglaries. Curtis Greer and Wilbert Florence were both arrested in early March. The two were working together to burglarize homes across Uptown. Greer had an outstanding fugitive warrant in Jefferson Parish and has eight charges.

Christopher Martin was arrested on nine charges, many of which were burglaries in the university area.

Eric Moore was arrested during a search for a Chevy Impala. Social security information from a burglary victim in Kenner was found in the vehicle, and Moore is being held on two charges.

A total of 11 assaults were reported in the month of March in the area immediately around the universities. The majority of the assaults occurred east of Jefferson Avenue and north of S. Claiborne. Only one assault occurred in the immediate vicinity of the campuses on the 7300 block of Zimpel Street. The case on Zimpel Street did not involve any students and is being investigated as both simple and sexual battery.

Auto thefts and break-ins are down since February. NOPD reported an unusually high number of break-ins during the Mardi Gras holiday, but since that point, break-ins have declined over 25 percent.

On March 19, there was a slew of vehicle break-ins. The seven total break-ins were spread throughout the district, aside from two of which occurred on Freret Street and Broadway immediately near the universities. One of the vehicles was owned by a female student while the other was owned by an elderly man. No arrests have been made in any of the seven break-ins, and there are no strong leads or offender descriptions. NOPD is working to acquire surveillance footage for the two crimes near the campuses.

Three vehicle thefts were reported in the university area this month, the same as last.

The next public NOPD Second District meeting will be held on April 2 at 1 p.m. at the Second District Station, located at 4317 Magazine St.