Loyola student carjacked following Hurricane Ida

Loyola student carjacked in front of her home following Hurricane Ida

History pre-law sophomore Madison Bergeron lost $3,500 worth of items and her car in three minutes when she turned around to find a group of teenage boys tugging on her purse outside of her Uptown apartment.

Bergeon was one of many people in the city who were robbed or carjacked in the weeks following Hurricane Ida, according to Nola.com.

“I was just standing there, asking myself ‘did this really happen? I can’t believe this is actually happening to me,’” Bergeron said.

Bergeron was returning home from work at around 4 p.m. when she saw boys walking around the street near her house. Bergeon said a middle-school-aged boy showed her what appeared to be a large gun and shouted, “Give me everything you have!”

Shocked, she complied and handed one of the boys her bag. The boy took her keys and drove away in her car, a high school graduation gift that she’s had for less than two years.

Bergeron’s car was used in a string of robberies, then abandoned, the New Orleans Police Department said. Authorities told her that her car was used in five other robberies and carjackings. Bergeron said authorities told her the carjackers crashed multiple other cars, attempted and failed to steal others, and were robbed themselves.

In the immediate aftermath of the robbery, Bergeron knocked on the door of her house until someone let her in. She borrowed her roommate’s phone and called her mom before breaking down, realizing the severity of what happened.

“It could’ve been so much worse, but it was terrifying,” she said.

After calling her mom, she called the police, who, the following week, brought Bergeron in to identify one of three boys who threatened her. She recognized him, and he told the NOPD everything once he was arrested and questioned.

Police found her car in a common carjacking dump site a week after the robbery, Bergeron said. Police later told Bergeron that the boys were not holding real weapons but airsoft guns that they had modified to look more realistic.

“It was terrifying because I had no idea,” Bergeron said. “What are the chances of someone having a fake gun?”

Her car had two broken windows and looked like it was involved in multiple crashes, Bergeron said. Despite the loss, she said she is staying positive. Being carjacked taught Bergeron to be more cautious when alone in the city.

“As much as people say that New Orleans is a loving city, there are people that are out to get easy targets,” she said.